Mangalore, May 27: The urban development department is preparing a proposal to include Tier II cities of Mangalore, Hubli-Dharwar and Gulbarga under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM). This is a massive city modernisation scheme launched by the Centre under the ministry of urban development.
Hubli-Dharwar qualifies for JnNURM in the second phase as its population has touched 10 lakh.
Urban development minister Vinay Kumar Sorake said he has instructed his department to prepare the proposals based on his talks with Union urban development minister Kamal Nath.
Sorake said cities with a population of over 10 lakh are eligible for the mission’s funds and the Centre is seeking ways to include more urban hubs under it. Sorake said under JnNURM any project could be taken up and funded like water supply, UGD, mono rail, remodelling of storm drains, widening and strengthening road network, solid waste management, etc.
Union petroleum and natural gas minister M Veerappa Moily said: “According to the population criterion, Hubli-Dharwar will be added under the scheme. Mangalore does not have the required population and we are actively pursuing the idea (of including it under JnNURM).”
The cities which do not meet the criterion have a huge fund crunch for developing their infrastructure as they have to avail of funds at huge interest rate from international banks or funding agencies. A case in point is the Rs 370 crore loan, of which 40% is grants from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the water supply and underground drainage system in the city. Even after completion, this project has not benefited the residents as last-mile connectivity is not in place.
Mangalore City South MLA JR Lobo said JnNURM criteria for a city like Mangalore should be different. “On the one hand we are looking at reducing population, but we look at population for funding. For Mangalore, the urban factor should also be taken into account. People in DK do not cluster together in an area like Mysore or Bangalore. We’re spread away from urban centres,” he said.