In its mid-term review, the Planning Commission has incorporated the suggestions emerging out of a social audit conducted by Dainik Bhaskar through an editorial-led initiative. It may be recalled that Dainik Bhaskar had done a social audit of Government of India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme in Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal, Ujjain and Indore), Rajasthan (Jaipur) and Punjab (Amritsar).
Speaking on this development, Yatish Rajawat, Managing Editor, Dainik Bhaskar Group, said, “We at Bhaskar appreciate the inter dependence of eco-systems in the markets we operate in. It has been our on-going endeavour to help monitor projects and helping their smooth implementation by generating mass awareness leading to action.”
The JNNURM mission is a massive city modernisation scheme launched by the Government of India in 2005, which will be carried out for a period of seven years. The total Central Government funding is around Rs 50,000 crore. With the contribution of states and municipalities, the amount will go up to Rs 125,000 crore over the seven-year period.
Recently, the mid-term summary review report of the 11th Five-Year Plan has been released. In this while reviewing JNNURM, Planning Commission has found that lack of capacity building has led to various delays in schemes and projects for urban development. Due to lack of monitoring process and non-effective implementation the project cost has also spiralled.
In this very first social audit for the country by DB Corp Ltd, it became apparent that the local bodies did not have enough professional and technical expertise of planning the project. Even if projects were conceived, qualified contractors were not available. Where every work started, lack of monitoring led to delays in implementation due to which even after getting the first and second grants, the project had not been completed on time. This not only led to sky rocketing of the budget, but also many projects remained incomplete for long stretch of time.
Most of the government bodies in places could not conceive developments in projects with future insights. One of the major causes of schemes remaining incomplete was lack of co-ordination among different government agencies.
The masses joined in the movement based on sustained editorial initiative under the social audit of JNNURM schemes, where they kept an eye on implementation and quality aspects of these schemes.
Dainik Bhaskar has also organised a national roundtable conference of selected urban development and transportation expert in Indore, aimed at discussing sustainable development.
The suggestions that have been accepted in the mid-term appraisal include:
1. Need of planning co-ordination
2. Need of Managerial Process Control
3. Establishing Juristic Planning capacity
4. Provision for local monitoring system
5. Fixed accountability
6. A think tank at central level which could help the local governing bodies to create sustainable urban development systems.