Completion of Amrut projects a challenge for civic bodies in State

A daunting task awaits new rulers of civic bodies in the State — the completion of projects envisaged under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (Amrut) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Latest figures show that a little over 50% of the projects — 576 out of the 1,006 projects — have been completed in the nine mission cities or municipal towns — Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kochi, Thrissur, Guruvayur, Palakkad, Kozhikode and Kannur — so far in five sectors.

Kerala has submitted three State Annual Action Plans (SAAPs) approved by the Ministry for a total outlay of ₹2,357.69 crore. Previously, the Ministry had come down heavily on the alleged lethargy of the State government in executing projects on time.

Many of the projects, envisaged during 2015-16 fiscal, in fact was submitted only in 2018 through an Annual Action Plan for 2017-2020. The contribution of civic bodies is 20% while the State government shares 30% of the cost. The Centre contributes 50% of the remaining funds for projects.

About 1,000 projects have been tendered so far. The delay in securing technical sanction for projects have been attributed to alleged tardy implementation of schemes, COVID-19 lockdown and floods.

Figures also reveal that the State average on expenditure is 41.67%. Kollam Corporation (22.53%) is the worst performer while Alappuzha Municipality (54.44 %) tops the list of best performing civic bodies. The remaining are Thiruvananthapuram (39.87%), Kochi (41.44%), Kozhikode (34.20%), Thrissur (41.99 %); Kannur (51.46 %) and Palakkad (39.35%).

Thiruvananthapuram tops the chart with 270 total projects while Guruvayur has only 34 projects. Thiruvananthapuram has completed 161 out of the 270 projects; Thrissur 63 projects out of 110; Palakkad 82 out of 152 projects; Kozhikode 30 out of 50 projects; Kannur 16 out 38; Kollam 28 out of 59; Kochi 63 out of 98; Guruvayur 10 out of 34 and Alappuzha 123 out of 195.

Sector wise, most projects have been implemented in the field of water supply (55.95%) and stormwater drainage (52.17%).

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