Lucknow, May 23, 2012: Lucknow Municipal Corporation's decision to rope in experts from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur to examine the works done under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, one of Centre's, is likely to put the centrally-appointed monitoring committee under a scanner. This is because all the works carried out in the state capital went through the monitoring of the committee appointed by the central government. And, it was on the basis of the monitoring committee's reports that funds were released by the Centre.
LMC sources said that the various civic works done under the JNNURM scheme were monitored by a centrally deputed agency, Independent Regulatory Monitoring Agency (IRMA), which has been submitting its reports to the Centre regularly. At the same time, the state government too has been sending its report to the Centre on a quarterly basis. It was based on these reports that the Centre had been releasing its share of 50% for the projects that were cleared by the Centre.
Municipal commissioner NP Singh confirmed that the works had undergone a "third party inspection" which is mandatory for the centrally-sponsored scheme. Sources said that if the IIT team finds anomalies in laying of pipes and construction of drainage networks, it would not only put the erstwhile Mayawati government in a dock, but would also expose the intricate nexus between the state and the central agencies. Singh said that the decision to rope in IIT was to ascertain if the allegations of the people about the quality of pipe lines and the overall design of the drainage network are true or not. "We have to keep up with the sentiments of the people about the whole scheme," he said.
This is the first time that the LMC top brass appears to have gone by the complaints of the residents of the city about civic works executed under the prestigious scheme. There have been reports of people lodging complaints about the quality of pipelines being compromised. In fact, the UP Mayor Council has been lodging its apprehensions with the Union ministry besides knocking the doors of the Prime Minister Office. But, as it appeared from day one, the complaints fell on deaf ears.
LMC sources said that a team of experts from IIT may now take up the issue anytime next month. Sources said that the team will undertake a random survey of the civic works carried out in different areas of the state capital.
Till now, 33 projects worth Rs 5,363.62 crore have been approved by the Centre for UP since 2007-08. For this, the Centre even released Rs 1,734.91 crore to get the projects, essentially those pertaining to laying of sewer lines, drainage and drinking water supply executed. Ironically only one project - installation of branch and lateral sewer lines in northern and western zone of Agra at an estimated cost of Rs 2,162 crore - has been completed, while the rest are still in execution stage.
The Centre, according to records, had released a sum of Rs 1,081 crore. In Lucknow alone, the drainage work is being done at an estimated cost of around Rs 325 crore. Of this, only 50% have been completed. Likewise, the sewerage project worth around Rs 500 crore has also started.
Reacting to the development, Samajwadi Party spokesperson, Rajendra Chaudhary said that the former state government has set a record of scams, which continue to topple one after another. (Source: The Times of India)