Funds flow for riverfront project - Urban development and housing department approves Rs 70 crore

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By PIYUSH KUMAR TRIPATHI
  • Published 3.08.13
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The dream of a beautiful riverfront promenade in Patna and hi-tech municipal services have taken steps closer to reality.

The urban development and housing department gave its approval for the release of Rs 70 crore for Patna Riverfront Development Project. It would be executed in 2013-14.

The department also sanctioned Rs 14.42 crore for implementation of e-municipality projects in Patna and 140 other urban local bodies under the Centre-sponsored Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). This would allow municipal services like birth and death registration, property tax payments and building plan approvals to be done online.

S. Siddharth, secretary, urban development and housing department, told The Telegraph: “Both schemes — Ganga riverfront development and e-municipality under JNNURM — have to be executed using central and state funds. As the Centre has already approved its funding and all other necessary approvals have also come, the department (UD&HD) approved release of funds for both the schemes last month.”

The riverfront development project envisages development of 6.5-km-long and 15-ft-wide walkway, along with 500 benches, decorative lights, trees, lavatories and kiosks along the bank of the Ganga in Patna. It is under the ambit of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) — a World Bank-funded scheme aimed at effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the Ganga.

Sources said 70 per cent of the total project cost — Rs 243.27 crore — would be contributed by the Centre through the NGBRA, and rest 30 per cent will be borne by the state.

“The bid documents for the execution of riverfront project are under the consideration of the World Bank. We would float the tenders as soon as they approve it,” said Siddharth.

Sources said the project would be completed in two years. However, no physical progress in the project has been made yet.

With regard to the e-municipality project for Patna Municipal Corporation, the Union urban development ministry had given its approval on November 11, 2011. The project would be implemented in the PMC over five years, utilising an estimated outlay of Rs 13.69 crore, which was to be provided equally by the Centre and the state.

Funds to the tune of Rs 4 crore are to be spent for setting up a date centre, Rs 16.95 crore for development of e- municipality software, Rs 92. 64 crore for Internet and Rs 26.61 crore for hiring manpower under the e-municipality project.