To further strengthen the holistic model of development actualising in Telangana, Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K.T. Rama Rao urged the Government of India to allocate sufficient funds in the forthcoming Union Budget 2023-24, for various urban sector initiatives in the State.
Reeling out various trailblazing initiatives and path-breaking schemes that have been implemented by the State government since 2014 under the leadership of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao to improve urban infrastructure and for citizens’ convenience, KTR said that several projects were either held up or are proceeding at less than desired pace though the issues and requests were represented to the Centre.
With 46.8% of its population living in the cities, KTR said that Telangana is predominantly an urban State where the number of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) increased from 68 to 142. He said that a new Act – Telangana Municipalities Act, 2019 was brought out which included a mandatory provision of 10% of the ULB Budget as a ‘Green Budget’, a self-certification based single window online approval system for building approvals (TSbPASS Act).
He listed various urban infrastructure projects planned, and initiated by the State government on its own, which include: Strategic Road Development Project (SRDP), Strategic Nala Development Project (SNDP), Comprehensive Road Maintenance Project (CRMP), Hyderabad Road Development Corporation (HRDC), Musi River Development Corporation (MRDC) and Telangana Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (TUFIDC), among others.
The MA&UD Minister said the efforts to develop the city holistically won global laurels too as Hyderabad continues to be the best city for the sixth year in a row by Mercers Quality of Living Index. The city was also adjudged as the World Green City 2022 by AIPH, and it is the only city from India to be crowned among the Tree Cities of the World by Arbor Day Foundation and United Nations (UN) agencies.
Stating that the State government is committed to further fuel the growth in all urban areas of the State, the Minister listed issues and placed requests related to the various development projects hoping that the Centre will extend support to the State at least in the next Union Budget.
The MA&UD Minister said that the Hyderabad Airport Express Metro Project (31 km) was undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs 6250 Crores, as a fully owned and funded by the Government of Telangana project. He sought ‘in principle approval’ from the Centre for the project.
He said that Rs 254 Crores, part of viability gap funding for the Hyderabad Metro Rail Project has been pending for five years, and urged it to be expedited to relieve the project of severe financial stress.
KTR said that the preliminary estimate for taking up the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) in the Hyderabad Urban Agglomeration area for a 20 Km length is Rs. 3,050 Crores and urged the Centre to provide Rs.450 Crs towards 15% of its equity.
He urged the Centre to provide Rs 800 Crores, which is one-third of the cost of the project to construct link roads in 104 corridors. The total cost of the project is Rs 2,400 crores.
Stating that a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to provide relief from traffic congestion on National Highway 65 was prepared, he urged the central government to sanction Rs 500 crore towards it.
KTR said that under the Strategic Road Development Project (SRDP), infrastructure projects like Skywalks, Major corridors, Major roads and Flyovers were taken up and the first phase was completed by meeting the cost by way of term loans raised from financial institutions and sale of Municipal Bonds by GHMC.
He said that the DPR for Phase –II of the project was completed with the following proposals: Rs.11,500 Cr for Musi Riverfront Development and East-West Express Way, Rs.14,000 Cr for SRDP Phase II, Rs.9,000 Cr for the Development of Elevated Corridors. KTR requested the centre for at least Rs 3,450 Crore of budgetary support, which is 10% of the project cost of Rs 34,500 Crores.
He has also requested an incentive for GHMC on raising the third tranche of Municipal Bonds.
Listing important transformative projects such as Solid Waste Management projects, bio-mining, Fecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTP), and wastewater treatment projects, the MA&UD Minister urged the Centre to provide Rs 750 Crores which is 20% of the total project cost of Rs 3777 Crores.
He urged the Centre to provide one-third of Rs 8684 Crores – which is the total project cost for 41 Sewage Treatment Plants with a total capacity of 1591 MLD and for 2232 km of sewer network.
KTR said that Strategic Nala Development Plan (SNDP) was taken up to prevent water inundation during excessive rainfall, in vulnerable localities in Hyderabad city and in Hyderabad Urban Agglomeration Area, and requested Rs 240 Crores for it.
The Minister urged the Centre to provide Rs 400 crores under Swachh Bharat Mission funds to further improve sanitation in Hyderabad.
He requested seed funding of Rs.100 Crore for establishing the Telangana Sanitation Hub, a first of its kind in the country.
KTR said that Telangana, which ushered in financial progress, was massively contributing towards the nation’s economy and that the country will flourish further if such a successful State is supported. The Minister hoped that Narendra Modi-led central government will extend support at least in this budget towards the development of urban areas in the State.