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JNNURM: State’s move may put VMC in a fix

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Source : The Hindu Date : 18.06.2009

JNNURM: State’s move may put VMC in a fix

G.V.R. Subba Rao

Government likely to treat major portion of funds as loan

 


Norms say that 20 p.c. of cost must be ‘loan-cum-grant’

State may provide 18 p.c. as loan and 2 p.c. as grant


VIJAYAWADA: Dashing the hopes of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) officials and leaders of the ruling Congress, the State government appears all set to retain a major chunk of funds pertaining to Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

Taking shelter under official jargon, the government is all set to treat a major portion of its share as loan. JNNURM guidelines mandate the State government to provide 20 per cent of the cost of a project proposed by a local body as its share. However, as the guidelines have used the term “loan-cum-grant,” the government is gearing up to divide its 20 per cent share into two parts – 18 per cent as loan and the remaining 2 per cent as grant, official sources say.

This would mean the corporation’s share in JNNURM projects would increase to 48 per cent, instead of 30 per cent. The remaining 50 per cent would be contributed by the Central Government.

For instance, if the total cost of JNNURM projects is Rs.1,000 crores, the burden on the corporation would increase to Rs. 480 crores, instead of Rs.300 crores as estimated earlier. Though the officials say that the corporation has not signed any agreement on this so far, they agree that it would be inescapable.

Double whammy

The State government could choose to deduct its share either from the funds pending with it or from the statutory grants.

It has not been releasing its share or the Central Government’s share for some time now. The dues on this count are estimated to have accumulated to at least Rs. 250 crores.

As the VMC receives around Rs. 19 crores as statutory grants from the State government every year, the corporation would be at a loss in both scenarios. If the government decides to deduct its share from these grants, the corporation would not receive any funds for the next one and half decade. In the other scenario too, it would suffer a major set back if the government chooses to reduce its share from the funds pending with it.

The VMC has, of late, been spending general funds to maintain the momentum of JNNURM works. Recently, the contractors involved in these works agitated as there was immense delay in payment of bills.

Municipal Commissioner P.S. Pradyumna held parleys with them and told them the corporation was expecting clearance of dues from the State government any moment, and assured them not to worry.

Officials fear that it would be a Herculean task for the corporation to foot the salaries and meet other revenue expenditure if the government is serious about its decision to change the pattern of release of funds under JNNURM.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2009 10:36
 

Lessons on solid waste management

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Source : The Hindu Date : 18.06.2009

Lessons on solid waste management

Staff Reporter

Officials and representatives of various organisations attend training programme

Photo: Singam Venktaramana

Going organic: An engineer examining vermicompost at a unit as part of a training programme of Engineering Staff College of India at Panagal in Nalgonda on Wednesday. —

NALGONDA: A delegation comprising the engineers of various municipal bodies, Pollution Control Board and other agencies from different States visited Nalgonda municipality on Wednesday as part of a training programme on Municipal Solid Waste Management.

The study tour was organised as an integral part of the ongoing five-day training programme being organised by the Engineering Staff College of India (ESCI) for the engineers. The engineers from Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmi, Maharastra, West Bengal, Chattisgarh, and other States visited various wards in the town and later the vermicompost unit at Panagal.

Interaction

The delegates interacted with the residents at the seventh ward and inquired about the household waste disposal system. During their visit to the compost unit, the municipal officials concerned explained about the method of house to house collection, transportation, segregation and processing of the waste into compost being followed in the municipality.

Municipal sanitary inspector B. Janardhan Reddy said that the compost unit was set up last year to convert the waste into vermicompost. About 3,000 kgs of vermicompost is being produced at the unit per month, he said and added that the vermicompost is being supplied to the farmers for using the same as organic manure in cultivation.

Some of the members of the team suggested that two bins should be supplied to each household for collection of organic and non-organic waste separately as a means of source segregation.

ESCI Assistant Professor and Course Director G. Venkatesham told The Hindu that the training programme aims to familiarise the participants on the scientific management of municipal solid waste to protect public health and environment.

“Effective management of municipal solid waste is the major challenge being faced by all the municipalities in the country and it holds the key to prevent environmental pollution”, he said.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2009 10:30
 

Convert crisis into oportunity : PM

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Source : The New Indian Express Date : 17.06.2007

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 June 2009 12:29
 


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