No Central funds for BMC’s tunnel,pipeline projects

In a setback for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation,the Centre has refused to fund two important water supply projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: March 14, 2009 3:06 am

In a setback for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation,the Centre has refused to fund two important water supply projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

Fund shortage and Maharashtra having already claimed nearly 40 percent of the allotments were cited as reasons.

The two projects,digging a 17-km tunnel and replacing 45-km of worn out water pipelines to carry water from Tansa reservoir,are estimated to cost Rs 2,235 crore. The BMC had last year decided to undertake the projects.

Four days back,the civic administration was informed by the MMRDA — the nodal authority for the JNNURM projects — that the Centre will not be able to sanction the funds. The estimated cost is Rs 1,185 crore for the tunnel and Rs 1,050 crore for replacing the pipelines. The BMC was expecting a 35 per cent grant from the Centre,15 per cent from the state government,and the rest from external agencies or its own budget.

The BMC will go ahead with the projects,though it may take longer than planned to complete. Other projects,which are less important,may have to face the knife to fund these two projects. Additional municipal commissioner (projects) Anil Diggikar said the civic administration has made a provision of Rs 100 crore for the Tansa pipelines and Rs 20 crore for the tunnel in the 2009-10 budget. “In the coming years more funds will be allotted,” he said.

“Both projects are of high priority for Mumbai. Implementation will begin immediately. It may take more than three years — the deadline was 2011 — for completion,” Diggikar added.

The tunnel between Gundawali village and Bhandup Complex will be the longest from the dam. The 45-km of pipelines from Tarali near Bhiwandi to Tansa Dam were to be replaced as they are ageing. Instead of two 1800-mm diameter pipelines,there would be only one pipeline of 2750-mm width.

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