Business & Economy

NCR Planning Board approves Viability Gap Funding for projects in NCR, CMA towns

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, March 22, 2012

The National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) has, for the first time, approved Viability Gap Funding, on the basis of the Ministry of Finance guidelines for public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

At its 32nd meeting here today, in order to assist the State governments to bridge the huge infrastructure deficit, the Board, for the first time, approved a grant of upto 15% of project cost for water and sewerage projects in NCR and Counter Magnet Area (CMA) towns. 
This grant would be in addition to the long term soft loan of up to 75% of the project cost so that service level benchmarks can be met, an official press release said.
Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, who is chairman of the Board, noted that the NCR Planning Board was a unique experiment in inter-State and inter-agency coordination. 
"It involves the implementation of development policies and programmes over four federal units and 108 cities & towns as stakeholders," he said.
"The NCR Planning Board’s strategy has always been to assist State Governments at all levels to make the region more equitable, efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly," he said.
Nath urged the State governments to move towards the PPP model for infrastructure development in order to benefit from the financial and human resources of the private sector. 
The release said the NCR Planning Board would be undertaking programmes and projects worth Rs.2145 crore during the Twelfth Five Year Plan. 
In addition to tapping the domestic capital market, resources for infrastructure projects will also be made available from multi-lateral/bi-lateral aid agencies such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and KfW of Germany.
A loan of $ 150 million from ADB has been approved for financing infrastructure projects in NCR and its CMAs, of which $ 78 million will be available as the first tranche. Agreement for loan of Euro 100 million from KfW for environment friendly infrastructure projects has also been signed, the release said.
Nath stressed the need for an economic and efficient mass transportation system as an essential driver of regional economic development. 
The Board was briefed on the Delhi Metro work having commenced on Phase III. Connectivity between Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Noida has already been achieved and connectivity to Faridabad has been sanctioned for implementation. Proposals for extension of Delhi Metro to Faridabad-Ballabhgarh are also in the pipeline. The extension of the Mundka line to Bahadurgarh in Haryana is being considered for inclusion under Phase III and surveys are being carried out by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for extension of the Metro from Rithala to Bawana. The States were urged to expedite the work on the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways.
Nath highlighted the need for Regional Rapid Transit System in NCR. The Board was informed that feasibility reports of three prioritized Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridors have been prepared for implementation in consultation with participating states, namely: Delhi-Meerut (90 kms), Delhi-Panipat (111 kms), and Delhi-Alwar (180 kms). These projects, costing roughly Rs.70,000 crore, would lead to reduction in travel time within NCR, reduction of number of vehicles on roads, decongestion of both National Highways and arterial roads and tremendous reduction in pollution levels and ultimately improvement in the quality of life in NCR. 
The Board reviewed the progress made consequent to signing of the Reciprocal Common Transport Agreements for Contract Carriage and Stage Carriage for facilitating seamless travel in NCR. More than 11,000 NCR taxis and 240 buses are now plying under the Reciprocal Common Transport Agreement for Contract Carriage. 
The Board noted that upto December 2011, loan financing for 265 social and physical infrastructure projects worth Rs. 18,069 crore has been provided by the NCRPB. Against these projects, loans worth Rs 347 crore have been sanctioned to Rajasthan sub-region, Rs 882 crore to UP sub-region, Rs. 5089 crore to Haryana sub-region, Rs 609 crores to NCT-Delhi and Rs 1108 crore to the CMAs. The Board appreciated the mobilization of funds amounting to Rs.1100 
crores from the domestic capital market in the form of taxable bonds during the 11th Plan period. 
National Capital Territory of Delhi, the core of the NCR, is one of the fifteen major urban agglomerations in the world. As per 2011 census, the total population of Delhi is 16.75 million. The NCR has an urbanization of 62%. The Board noted that the decadal population growth rate of Delhi has come down from 47% in 1991-2001 to 21% during 2001-11 as per the Census 2011 data. Rate of growth of Delhi Sub-region was the lowest among all the four Sub-regions of NCR which collectively grew at the rate of 24% during the same decade. This shows that the aim and objectives of setting up the NCR Planning Board are well on the way to being achieved. 
The meeting was attended by Chief Minister of Haryana, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Union Minister of State for Urban Development, Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Chief Secretary, Government of NCT-Delhi, and other senior officers of Central and State Governments.