ONGOLE: Implementation of several Central government schemes in Ongole such as Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation(AMRUT), smart cities and phase-1 of Critical Infrastructure Investment plan (CIIP) have been stalled as Ongole Municipal Corporation (OMC) is facing severe fund crunch.
Consequently, the municipal authorities with the support of Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, are requesting the State government to sanction funds so that the stalled projects can be restarted.For AMRUT scheme, the Central government is supposed to sanction 50 per cent of the funds, followed by the State government’s 20 per cent. The rest is supposed to be provided by OMC.The Centre sanctioned funds to the tune of `69 crore for the years 2016 to 2020.
However, due to lack of funds with OMC, several infrastructure projects have been put on hold. The OMC authorities hope for a positive response so that they can restart water supply from KOR Gundlakamma Reservoir Project, develop parks in Kakatiya Nagar, Nehru Nagar and Chennakesava Swamy Nagar and construct overhead tanks.
The OMC authorities have sanctioned 6,900 domestic water supply connections, and 2,000 applications are in the pipeline. For constructing pipelines for water transportation from rivers, the municipal corporation has paid `15 crore against a `30 crore bill.
After the Central government announced CIIP, district authorities made plans for infrastructural development in several towns of the district. Under this scheme, OMC proposed roads, drains and water supply pipeline laying works at an estimated cost of `70 crore. However, the plans were dropped due to fund crunch. The OMC had also decided to modernise the Trunk Road, construct a building named Icon Towers, Mythological Park,Command Control Centres and bicycle lanes at an estimated cost of 13.8 crore under ‘Smart Cities’ programme.
“We hope the funds pertaining to AMRUT will be released soon and we will be able to re-start or complete the Gundlakamma pipeline laying works as well as other pending works. Meanwhile, due to Minister Balineni’s efforts, the State government has sanctioned `91 crore for modernisation works of Pothuraju Channel. If the State government releases the 30 per cent share of OMC along with its own share, we will finish the projects proposed under AMRUT scheme very soon,” D Sundararami Reddy, Municipal Engineer OMC told TNIE.