CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday sought funds from the Centre for mega urban development projects to be implemented in the areas of drinking water supply, setting up of new desalination units, extending the Metro Rail project, inclusion of 12 major towns of Tamil Nadu in the Smart City Programme and housing projects, running into thousands of crores of rupees.
The CM made the requests and handed over a detailed letter in this connection to Union Minister of Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs, Venkaiah Naidu when he called on her at the Secretariat. The discussions lasted for about 30 minutes.
Recalling that the State government had submitted proposals to the Centre to fund two Sea Water Reverse Osmosis plants for the ever-growing Chennai city, one 150-MLD capacity plant costing Rs 1,372 crore and another 400-MLD capacity plant costing Rs 4,071 crore, the CM said since desalination was the only reliable solution for the growing drinking water needs of Chennai, the Union Minister should consider funding 80 per cent of the project cost of these two projects.
The CM also pointed out that State government had kept ready Detailed Project Reports for various urban infrastructure projects to provide drinking water supply, underground sewerage, stormwater drains, flyovers, and solid waste management in urban areas at a total cost of Rs 26,000 crore. She also requested Naidu to ensure early finalisation of necessary guidelines and enable allocation of sufficient funds for Tamil Nadu to take up the projects for execution.
Stating that she had launched the Tamil Nadu Vision 2023 document which envisages transforming important cities into world-class cities that become nodes of growth across the State, Jaya urged Naidu to consider the inclusion of Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchy, Salem, Tirupur, Erode, Vellore, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Dindigul and Thanjavur Corporations in the Smart Cities programme announced in the Union Budget.
Some key projects had already been approved by the Government of India for assistance, she said and added that pending finalisation of the relevant guidelines, funds could be released for the Erode Drinking Water Supply Scheme (Rs 392.5 crore) and the 45 MLD Tertiary Treatment Reverse Osmosis (TTRO) Plant at Koyambedu, Chennai, and conveying main to Sriperumbudur, Irungattukottai and Oragadam (Rs 400 crore).
The Centre should ensure the early release of Rs 206 crore for the TTRO Plant as the State had completed almost all the reforms and had been awarded 99 marks out of 100 on this project.
The CM also urged Naidu to approve proposal at the earliest for extension of Corridor-I of the Chennai Metro Rail Project up to Thiruvotriyur and Wimco Nagar covering a distance of 9.051 km at an estimated updated completion cost of Rs 3,770 crore.
“For the Chennai Metro Rail Project to provide its full benefits, the three corridors, with a total length of 76 km, which was identified for implementation under Phase-II at a tentative cost of Rs 36,100 crore, must be taken up at the earliest,” she said, and added that preparation of Detailed Project Report was underway and the Centre should accord necessary clearances for the Phase II of Chennai Metro Rail Project.
Informing that the State government had drawn up a programme to construct 1.17 lakh tenements in 34 towns over the next three years at a cost of Rs 11,434 crore, she urged the Centre to provide 50 per cent funding i.e Rs 5,717 crore as their share under ‘Housing for All’ scheme.