The state government is contemplating various measures to facilitate private-public participation (PPP) in infrastructure development. The measures include collection of garbage clearance charges from “affluent areas” under different municipalities.
Addressing a workshop organised by the Tata Energy Research Institute, New Delhi, and the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority, urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya said: “At the New Barrackpore municipality, each family is required to pay a token amount for household waste collection.”
The minister said NGOs and private parties will be given the job of collecting garbage from households for a commission. “This is sure to generate income for a large section of people,” he added. Successful implementation of the PPP will crucially hinge on recovery of cost to minimise the financial risks involved.
“Contrary to popular perception, beneficiaries are becoming increasingly willing to pay for services rendered. The Arambagh municipality has been charging domestic consumers for the supply of potable water since 1986. There are other municipalities which have started collecting water charges,” he said.
Bhattacharya said the government will announce a policy guideline on PPP by the end of this year and promised to develop a regulatory mechanism at the appropriate level. “Although certain terms and conditions for development and infrastructure services will be built into the partnership agreements, there will be a need for enforcing and regulating them to suit the prevailing context,” he said.
“The West Bengal Municipal Act has been amended and provision has been made for private and joint venture participation in infrastructure development,” the minister said while inaugurating the workshop.
“The state government, municipalities and other local bodies cannot afford to bear the cost of building basic infrastructure alone,” he added.
The UD department is planning to provide land to a private party for the completion of the Salt Lake Bypass for building a commercial complex. “Apart from providing land to such private participants, we may give them rights to advertise and collect toll tax,” he said.