Jun 1, 2008

Farmer loan waiver at the cost of Mumbai?

State farmers’ gains from the farm loan waiver package may come at the cost of Mumbai’s citizens, or so it seems. The mammoth Rs 71,600-crore waiver package doled out by the Centre is likely to put pressure on allocations for urban infrastructure projects.

So far, the state has submitted 13 Mumbai projects worth around Rs 15,000 crore under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Of these, five projects worth Rs 2,279 crore have been sanctioned. Apart from JNNURM, the Centre has also agreed to fully fund the Rs 1,200-crore Brihanmumbai storm water drain (Brimstowad) upgrade project and has also released the first installment of Rs 400 crore. The state expects an installment of Rs 400 crore for the project this fiscal. The five sanctioned projects include Middle Vaitarana water supply scheme, sewage disposal plan, western freeway between Worli and Nariman Point, elevated road between the international airport and Western Express Highway, and an underground tunnel linking Malabar Hill to Mahalaxmi.