Puducherry, Dec 29 (BPNS)
The Union Territory of Puducherry which elected an NDA government for the first time in its history is now expecting good projects to move ahead with central government support.
Chief Minister of Puducherry,N. Rangasami who has the experience of having ruled the territory earlier also is a tough bargainer and the central BJP leadership was not able to place one of its leaders as the Deputy Chief Minister of the UT even though it had put in immense pressure for the same.
However, sources in the BJP at Puducherry told IANS that the central leadership has, for the time being, don’t want to upset Rangasamy and his All India NR Congress (AINRC) that is leading the coalition with BJP and will allow continuing with this combination for the time being.
the central government has already sanctioned more than 360 crore worth projects for the territory in health, education and infrastructure areas and the Chief Minister had met the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to consider the proposals put forward by the UT government.
There are indicators that in 2022, the Union government has already announced 105 projects in Puducherry at a cost of Rs 822 crore.
Chief Minister, N. Rangasamy while speaking to media persons at Puducherry said that the Prime Minister has assured of all help to the Union Territory. Recently a delegation of the Puducherry government led by PWD minister, Lakshminarayanan met Bruno Bosle, India Country head of Agence Francaise De Development (AFD), the French agency for garnering support to a comprehensive drinking water project of Rs 523 crore and the French agency has agreed to support the project for another two years time.
Puducherry PWD Minister, K. Lakshminarayanan while speaking to BPNS said, “ The present comprehensive drinking water project supported by the AFD is set to expire in June 2022 and after our meeting, they have agreed to extend it till June 2024 and that’s a major achievement.”
The minister said that it was a soft loan at the rate of 1.5% interest to be repaid in 15 years’ time. The high Totally Dissolved Salts (TDS) in the borewells of the territory are making them unfit for drinking and new borewells have to be dug in rural areas while closing down the borewells with high TDS levels, the minister said.
The government is in the process of establishing a Project Implementation Agency at the earliest for overseeing the work and according to current estimates, 50 fresh borewells would be dug in river beds in rural areas of the state.
PWD Minister, K. Lakshminarayanan said, “ Moreover we will be also installing more RO plants to increase the water supply and desalination plants have also been proposed under AMRUT II. All this would lead to the drinking water issues in the territory being addressed positively with drinking water available to the whole of the population.”
The Puducherry Chief Minister has also urged the Central government to provide Rs 150 crore for setting up a new 500 bedded hospital for infectious/ epidemic diseases in the Union Territory. The union finance minister has already assured the Puducherry Chief Minister that the amount would be sanctioned soon and the state is expecting the clearance in the 2022 Union budget.
The state government has also applied for 225 crore support for developing the present airport to cater to larger aircraft. The state has also pitched in for a water aerodrome to promote seaplane operations in the UT.
Another landmark project that would be coming up in the Union Territory would be the Film city project and theme park at a 100-acre site at Manapat beach. The project is conceived and to be implemented in a PPP model.
The Power Finance Corporation Company Ltd (PFCCL) had furnished a proposal under the Smart metering project to implement the project on Total expenditure model at an estimated cost of Rs 282 crore to all the existing consumer base of 4.04 lakh customers.
This proposal of the PFCCL was presented to the Government of Puducherry which has resent it to the Union government for approval and funding support. Chief Minister said that the project will ensure 100% collection efficiency and reduce the Aggregate Technical and Commercial losses.
The UT is also actively campaigning with the Central government for a minor port under the Sagaramala scheme. The territory is also expecting an increase of 10% of the central funding every year after the NDA government has come to power.