A parliamentary panel today rapped the Urban Development Ministry for "lopsided allocation" of funds in favour of metro projects which could hamper implementation of other schemes, like Swachh Bharat Mission.
'The Standing Committee on Urban Development' in its 'Demands for Grants 2017-18' report, tabled in Parliament today, said that judicious allocation of budget among various schemes/projects of the ministry is the "need of the hour" and at the same time enhancing budgetary allocation at the revised estimate stage.
"The Committee feel that lopsided allocation in favour of metro projects and release of funds may hamper the implementation of rest of the projects and scheme of Urban Development such as AMRUT, Swachh Bharat Mission and HRIDAY," it said.
The Committee noted that 52.61 per cent of the total budget estimate (2017-18) or Rs 18,000 crore of Rs 34,211.84 crore of Urban Development Ministry has been earmarked for metro rail projects.
The panel recommended that the requirement of funds for various projects and schemes should be "vigorously pursued" with the Finance Ministry, besides exploring other means for mobilising the funds like PPP and external commercial borrowing.
The panel noted that the farm house policy of DDA does not envisage acquisition of illegal farm houses for social infrastructure.
It suggested "hefty penalties to be levied and in egregious cases for the acquisition of illegal farmhouses who have flagrantly flouted rules, for social infrastructure such as hospitals, orphanages, old age homes, schools and sports complex."
Noting the "slow level" of implementation of smart city mission, the committee said, "There is a long way to go and therefore the efforts for identification for completion of projects should be expedited in fast track mode."
The committee also pulled up the Ministry and related agencies for not making concerted efforts to identify the reasons for frequent fire incidents in metro cities and recommended them to examine and analyse its cause and take remedial measures.