Letter to the Minister of Urban Development

Dear Shri. Venkaiah Naidu Ji,

Implementation of Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) in Kerala was initiated in September 2015. Government of Kerala appreciates the policy of empowering the States to prioritise and select the projects under AMRUT.

As envisaged in the Mission Guidelines, Kerala has submitted three State Annual Action Plans which have been approved by the Ministry of Urban Development within the first 18 months. The State has also received the 20% advance of central assistance for SAAP-I (on 16th Dec 2015) and SAAP-II (on 28th Sep 2016. The Central funds along with the matching state share have been transferred to the State Mission Directorate.

As the initial focus was on plan preparation, the nine mission cities started the preparation of Detailed Project Reports only after plan approvals. As of now 91 DPRs out of the 379 projects have been prepared for implementation. Since 41% of the approved projects under AMRUT pertain to the Water Supply sector, the State has entrusted Kerala Water Authority to render end-to-end support (from project conception onwards) in the implementation of water supply projects. KWA will also support in the implementation of Sewerage projects wherever there are existing sewerage schemes of KWA, which amount to another 31% of AMRUT scheme. Regarding the remaining three sectors – Storm water drainage, Urban transport and Open spaces & Parks, the mission cities are preparing the DPRs using their Engineering wing or with the support of external consultants. The Mission Director and the State Mission Management Unit are monitoring the work on a weekly basis and supporting the ULBs to expedite the work. The Principal Secretary, LSGD is closely monitoring the progress and guiding the implementation. The State Level High Powered Steering Committee and State Level Technical Committee are being convened in regular intervals to ensure interdepartmental coordination in resolving the bottlenecks.

Although it is a fact the start was a bit slow, systems are now in place. DPRs amounting to Rs. 720 Cr have been prepared and administrative sanction has been accorded for projects amounting to Rs.581 Cr. which are in various stages of tendering/implementation. DPR preparation of projects worth Rs.1300 Cr is ongoing. An action plan has been drawn to expedite the implementation and complete the projects in time.

As regards the implementation of reforms, the State has been in the forefront and has been able to achieve most of the milestones earmarked for 2015-16 and 2016-17. State has received an incentive amount of Rs.15 Cr from MoUD for 2015-16 and further an incentive amount of Rs.16.68 Cr for 2016-17 for fulfilling the various milestones of the mandatory reforms under AMRUT.

Credit rating of all nine mission cities completed within prescribed timeline issued by MoUD and 11 out of the 14 features of the Model Building Bye laws have been adopted. Online single window system for building permits, already existing is being refined further to include online facility for all mandatory approvals required. Directions have been issued to the Mission Cities and KWA to enter into a tripartite agreement with Energy Efficiency Services Limited to conduct energy audit of the water supply systems in the AMRUT cities. Mission cities have initiated selected reforms from the new generation reforms based on their specific need. State has a dedicated cadre for engineering and town planning department and now policies are being framed for a dedicated cadre for finance professionals.

We fully realize the benefits of the timely fund releases and approvals and appreciate the support rendered by the Ministry of Urban Development. I am personally reviewing the plan expenditure and Centrally Sponsored Schemes, every quarter. Even though we were slow in the beginning, now that full systems are in place, we will expedite the process so as to complete the projects on time.

With regards,

Yours sincerely,

PINARAYI VIJAYAN

Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu
Hon’ble Minister of Urban Development,
Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Information & Broadcasting
Government of India,
Room No. 104-C, Nirman Bhawan,
New Delhi-110108.