Vadodara: The two-day national conference of
mayors began here on Monday with a demand for extending JNNURM
(Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Rural Mission) term to 12
years from seven years for the effective implementation of the
programmes and making cities `Slums Free` by 2020.
Raising this demand, Jatin Venibhai Modi, former vice-
chairman of the All India Council of Mayors and president of
the All India Institute of Local Self Government (AIILSG), the
host of this conference said, "when JNNURM started in December
2005, it had a fund of Rs one lakh crore. And most of this
amount has been spent in the last four years."
"JNNURM started by the UPA government, has been providing
opportunities to access central assistance for slum
upgradation and housing to poor," he said.
"For making cities free from slums under the target of
2020 set by the central government, it is necessary to extend
JNNURM Mission period to 12 years, from seven," Modi said.
"Mayors can play a crucial role in poverty alleviation
and livelihood development programmes in their cities by
becoming pathfinders in creating conducive environment for
poverty alleviation and livelihood development."
"After scrapping octroi nationwide (except Mumbai), the
revenue of the civic bodies have been badly affected. They are
not in a position to get adequate grants from the respective
state government in lieu of octroi," Modi said.
The only source of revenue left is fund under JNNURM, he
Speaking after inaugurating the conference, Gujarat
minister for urban development and water Nitin Patel criticised
those raising parochial issues and undermining the provision
of the constitution.
"Gujarat is for all Indians and anybody can settle in the
state and earn his livelihood," he said.
He gave reference of Mumbai and Delhi where the issue of
outsiders settling down there had drawn nationwide attention,
all Indians are free to come to Gujarat and settle here, Patel
Without naming Shiv Sena, Patel said it was wrong to
advocate theory of sons of the soil and Gujarat is the only
state across the country where people from Orissa, West
Bengal, Haryana and north India have settled down.
The Rs 550 crore fund from JNNURM has enabled civic body
for undertaking many poverty alleviation programmes, city
Mayor Balkrishna Shukla said.
Ranjit Chavan, director general of AIILSG appealed to the
state government to amend relevant act for giving more powers
to the mayor and follow the example of Madhya Pradesh and