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Monday, February 26, 2007

JNNURM’s City Development Plan

By Dr. Bhamy V. Shenoy, Mysore Grahakara Parishat

MGP has organised a discussion meeting on February 27 at 6 pm in association with Rotary Mysore. The objective is to take a look at CDP and form a set of expert groups to suggest improvements to CDP, to interact with MCC, monitor the progress, and develop a system to get continuous feedback from the public etc. If citizens do not get involved, the funds available under JNNURM (about Rs. 300 crore to Rs. 350 crore per year) will be spent unwisely or wasted in the form of bribe or call it excess payment. Those interested in participation are requested to contact Shankar Sharma on 2462502.

A City Development Plan (CDP) for Mysore is a must to secure grants under much talked about Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Such a CDP was prepared by Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka) (iDeCK) few months back. It has been reviewed and approved by the Chief Minister. CDP is supposedly done in consultation with public groups, elected representatives and government officials. But most people are not even aware that such a plan exists. So it is difficult to believe that it was done with public consultation. Still all is not lost. The CDP is considered an evolving document. Thus the public can still play a role in revising it as it is being implemented.

CDP ‘consultation’ has resulted in attaching the highest priority to water supply followed by roads and transport, beautification (conservation of 277 parks), slum improvement, tourism and heritage, developing satellite towns to reduce congestion, and land for industries.

The least priority was assigned to handle garbage, renovation of Devaraja Market, and development of an Auto Nagar. CDP has performed a perfunctory SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) analysis to develop different strategies.

Vision statement emerging out of the CDP consultation was “Enhancing the glory of Mysore, and enabling it to forge ahead as the Cultural, Tourism, Educational, Information Technology, Information Technology enabled Services and Wellness Hub”.


CDP has estimated the population to be 8.9 lakhs for 2006 with a literacy rate of 83%. Depending upon which scena-rio one believes in, the projected population for Mysore in 2031 can be as low as 17 lakhs (growing at the historic rate of 2.5%) or as high as 30 lakhs (growing at the rate of 2.5%).

One of the most disturbing data is concerning parks and open spaces. The coverage is expected to reduce from 13.7% in 2001 to 7.5% by 2011 based on MUDA’s plan. There are a total of declared slums of 49 (and undeclared 31) with a population of 0.8 lakhs in Mysore.

Around 19% of families are estimated to be below BPL. CDP allocates a total sum of Rs. 201 crore to help the slum dwellers to improve sanitation, housing, water supply and waste collection. This works out to be a per capita spending of Rs. 2,500.

Highest rank

It may come as a surprise to Mysoreans that a study done by Directorate of Municipal Administration to assess the services offered by municipal bodies in Karnataka gives MCC one of the highest ranks. This was based on assessing 10 different services like water supply, waste handling, public health etc. Our score out of possible 100 was 64! It is estimated that 85% of the residents are connected to water supply with daily supply of water for 3 hours at the rate of 135 litres per day. 85% are metered.

Can we believe this? For a proposed expenditure of Rs. 306 crore, water supply system is expected to be improved with daily water supply for 6 hours and 100% metering. Rs. 228 crore will be spent for improving sewerage system which will give a coverage of 75% by 2012 which is an improvement from the current 57%.

Garbage clearance

CDP envisages of spending Rs. 42 crores to improve the collection and handling of solid waste from the current level of 75% to 100%. It is proposed to segregate the garbage with the help of citizens at the residential places. Wet garbage will be converted into manure through composting. Privatisation of solid waste handling is proposed. It does not look like that the CDP has a well thought out strategy to prevent Mysore from becoming a garbage city.

Roads and related infrastructure need an investment of Rs. 329 crores which will be spent on systemic maintenance of roads, completion of outer ring road and radial roads. In addition Rs. 482 crores are allocated for providing low cost transport, construction of bus and truck terminals, improving air connectivity to the city.

It is not clear how CDP plans to provide low cost transportation. There is not a single out of the box strategy recommended in CDP excepting the introduction of electric trolley buses to reduce pollution!

The table shows the allocation for different areas. Public should start discussing the rationale for this allocation. Equally important is the ability to manage the expenditure on the part of MCC especially since it is not capable of managing even the current expenditure of Rs. 25 to 30 crores per year. JNNURM proposes annual spending of about Rs 300 to 350 crores. Let us not forget the inefficient and corrupt spending of ADB loan.

Allocation of JNNURM funds 2007-12

crores %

Heritage and tourism 312 16%

Water Supply & Sewerage 534 27%

Solid waste 42 2%

Urban Poor 201 10%

Roads 329 17%

Transport related 482 24%

Urban Spaces 68 3%

Total 1968 100%


JNNURM- Central 1466 74%

State 183 9%

MCC 168 9%

Needed funds 151 8%

When MCC has to still pay off the huge ADB loan, how will MCC be able to generate a surplus of Rs. 168 crore during this period? It is surprising that CDP assumes that there is a four-fold increase in revenues from water supply whereas there is only a marginal increase in property taxes. But for measly allocation for garbage handling, percentage of allocation for different projects appears to be appropriate.


In conclusion, the citizens of Mysore have a huge responsibility to ensure the proper implementation of JNNURM activities by involving from the beginning. We should not be cynical by assuming we cannot influence the bureaucracy. In a democracy, citizens are the rulers. JNNURM can in deed make a difference in shaping the future of our city.

Though expenditure of Rs. 200 crore for about one lakh of poor looks small, if spent creatively and wisely can make a big difference in improving our slums. The same is the case regarding water supply, tourism and transportation. Mysore is fortunate that we got selected as one of the 63 cities under JNNURM. Let us make the best use of this additional funding by getting ourselves involved.

1 comment:

Makarand Bakore said...


I agree that citizens' monitoring is indispensable to JNNURM's success. With the help of RTI, citizens and NGOs can put pressure on the government to carry out the reforms as well as use the money wisely on the projects. Centre for Civil Society is trying to do the same for Delhi and may be some other cities.