Nagpur Metro stuck with Planning and Finance panel: UDD Secretary

नागपुर Nagpur (NGP): The ambitious metro rail project of Nagpur, which got in-principle nod from Central Government’s Urban Development Department (UDD), is stuck in the Finance and Planning Commission. “Approval from this department is expected to come only after formation of new government at the Centre,” said UDD Secretary Sudhir Krishna here on Tuesday. He also revealed that UDD has proposed appointment of a full-time Director (Project) to ensure speedy completion of metro rail projects across the country.

Krishna was in the city to review progress of central government sponsored JNNURM projects. The meeting was attended by divisional commissioner Anoop Kumar, municipal commissioner Shyam Wardhane and NIT chairman Pravin Darade among others.

After the review meeting, Krishna expressed satisfaction that the metro rail projects launched in various cities across the country are running on time.

He said the central government will stop funding incomplete JNNURM projects, those supposed to be completed by March 31, 2012, and the respective state and civic bodies will have to bear the cost of delayed projects. The delayed JNNURM projects have proved dear already, as cost of many projects, including Ram Jhula, has increased manifold.

He, however, clarified that the projects sanctioned after March 2012 will continue to get central government assistance. Krishna admitted that many projects sanctioned under JNNURM were delayed due to lack of coordination between various government agencies and stressed the need for integrated master plan for any projects in the future. He also pointed out that civic bodies implementing various JNNURM projects should ensure notification of the projects in the city master plan. This will ensure that land acquisition process, which is a major hurdle, is smoother.

Krishna also attended a workshop on Bhuvan, a satellite mapping tool and geoportal scheme of National Urban Information System (NUIS) Schemes at VNIT. He said the portal is an Indian version of satellite Google Maps. It will have the digital maps and GIS database, which can be used for preparation of various master plans for projects in the municipality limits. The water supply and sewage system planning would also benefit from this data. This project is the national level initiative to develop spatial database for various levels of urban planning using modern data sources and to create new urban indices.

The NUIS scheme will focus on two aspects – collecting data required for routine functions called National Urban Databank and Indicators, and develop town level urban database to support development of indices through a network of Local Urban Observatories. NMC and NIT have been asked to start collecting data required for this portal, he said.