Shimla: Mission city Shimla has failed to execute any JNNURM project despite some of them having been approved about four and a half years ago, so much so that the courts have intervened and have sought explanations for delays incurred.
Papers presented before the Vidhan Sabha showed that none of the 19 project approved by central government since March 2007 under Jawharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) had been completed in the city.
“Much was expected from JNNRUM after Shimla was included as one of the mission cities of the country in 2006,” says Tarlok Chauhan, who has filed public interest litigation in the court.
Listed for next week, contractors of a Rs 10.09 Cr Auckland House tunnel project approved on 19th March, 2007 have been asked to depose before the High Court for the delays incurred.
In his petition, Chauhan had expressed anguish at the ‘tardy and sluggish execution’ of Auckland House Tunnel, which was supposed to stand completed by March, 2008.
Despite a delay of more than three years, the public is facing undue hardships because of the slow pace of work at the site which has already caused immense damage to private and public properties in the vicinity, he said.
The courts are aware of the matter with Chief Justice Kurian Joseph, having personally visited the site, added Chauhan.
Urban development ministry papers show that as many 54 detailed projects reports for improving urban infrastructure and housing for the poor were sent to the central government for approval since the first UPA government brought 63 cities, including Shimla, under the ambitious urban renewal mission in 2005.
Prime minister Manmohan Singh had announced the launch of the program with much fanfare on 3rd December, 2005
Status reports show that Rs 5.07 cr had been spent on the about 150 meter length Auckland House tunnel had been spent even though the state had received Rs 9.08 crore for the project which should have been completed three years ago.
Regarding setting up a Rs 16.04 Cr solid waste management plant approved in March, 2007, the ministry status report shows that Rs 2.90 Cr had been spent for widening of a road and laying the foundation of the structure.
Out of a Rs 72.36 Cr rehabilitation of water supply distribution system, a project approved in February, 2009, only Rs 86 thousand had been spent even though the state has received Rs 15.91 crores of central funds for it.
Two housing projects worth Rs 24 crore for the poor approved in March, 2007 and February, 2008 for constructing 636 flats were behind schedule and land for the earlier one was only identified this year.
Only under the funding of buses, a Rs 7.60 Cr project, stands partially completed as 75 buses have been purchased for Rs 6.99 Cr and were plying.