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AMRUT projects in Thiruvananthapuram stuck due to state government's fund crunch

With the March deadline near, financial crisis faced by the state and pending dues to contractors have halted crucial civic projects in the city.

Published: 30th January 2020 01:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th January 2020 01:25 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  The state’s financial crisis has hit various projects under the AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) scheme in the capital. With the deadline for the completion of the projects is fast approaching, the implementing agencies have landed in a soup due to the fund crunch. 

According to sources, the state government is yet to give a go-ahead to the request placed by the city corporation for Rs 50 crore to ensure the completion of various works before March this year. The worst hit is the project to expand the sewer networks in different parts of the city.

According to an official of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA), which is entrusted with undertaking the sewerage projects under AMRUT, the corporation owes the authority Rs 20 crore in dues for works already completed.

The official said the construction of 75 mld (million litre per day) plant and expansion of water supply network is fast progressing. "Our contractors have slowed down work due to non-payment of dues. Further delay in the release of funds would have an adverse impact on the projects," said the official. 

According to authorities, 60 per cent of the work on the Rs 70-crore, 75-mld plant at Aruvikkara has been completed. "As much as Rs 30 crore has already been granted for the plant," said a corporation official. 

Under-utilisation of funds

So far, the civic body could utilise only Rs 100 crore of the total Rs 357 crore allocated under AMRUT. As per the scheme, the Centre and the state have to chip in 50 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively, of the total project cost. 

"We have tendered work costing Rs 75 crore in connection with the expansion of sewer networks recently and the project is expected to be completed by December 2021. The high-level steering committee has given its nod for the project despite the March 2020 deadline," said the official. Close to Rs 160 crore has been allocated for sewerage-related projects. 

The corporation official said the delay in tendering the project occurred because of lack of participants. "We had to re-tender the project multiple times because there are not many contractors who do sewerage projects," he added.

Mayor K Sreekumar said the state government would release the funds soon. "The Thiruvananthapuram corporation has shown better performance in utilisation of funds. The state government would release the funds very soon and the majority of the project would be completed by March 2020," said the mayor. According to an official at KWA, the current deadline of March 2020 can only be met if the government releases Rs 390 crore to settle the dues of contractors. 

  • According to sources, the state government is yet to give a go-ahead to the request placed by the city corporation for Rs 50 crore to ensure the completion of various works before March this year 

  • The worst hit is the project to expand the sewer networks in different parts of the city. The corporation owes KWA Rs 20 crore for works already completed

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