The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Infrastructure, howzzat'
- Five-year upgrade blueprint drawn up

The Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government, acting on a nudge from the Centre, has drawn up a five-year plan — a Rs 6,939-crore infrastructure makeover blueprint for the city and its surrounding areas.

Christened City Development Plan (CDP), it will unfold in sectors such as traffic and transportation, water supply, sewerage, drainage, sanitation, environment and urban renewal.

The maximum thrust is on traffic and transportation, for which Rs 2,723.26 crore has been sought (see chart).

The CDP is a direct outcome of the state’s development deliberations with Delhi. And the state urban development department, as notified by the Centre, will be the nodal agency for execution of the projects.

The CDP would draw funds from the Centre (National Urban Renewal Mission, sponsored schemes and grants), state government, Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority, capital market, civic bodies, private sector and financial institutions.

Private firms will be encouraged to execute various projects under the CDP. Some, such as construction of major roads, flyovers, parking lots, truck terminals and underpasses, will be implemented through public-private partnership.

“We have prepared the CDP and sent it to Delhi,” said urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya. “We have prepared the proposals after taking all aspects into consideration, especially the needs of the people. Traffic and transportation has been given special emphasis, as it is the most crucial sector.”

The proposals have been approved by the relevant sector committees of the Calcutta Metropolitan Planning Committee (another requirement of the Centre).

“Detailed project reports for individual schemes are being prepared and will be submitted to the Centre from time to time,” the minister added.

Officials said the government had earlier approached the Union urban development ministry for around Rs 1,500 crore under the urban renewal mission for a clutch of projects. But Delhi wanted the state to submit an integrated proposal for infrastructure upgrade in and around the city, covering all sectors and over a certain period of time.

Delhi has made it clear that it would not provide funds projects taken up on a piecemeal basis.

“The Union ministry has told us that funds, especially under the urban renewal mission, would be made available only against a comprehensive makeover plan,” said an official.

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