UP Infra Projects to speed up

New advisor to speed up UP infra projects

By Deepa Jainani, 16/12/2010 , Financial Express

In yet another validation that upgrading and promoting infrastructure is a priority, the Uttar Pradesh government appointed M Ramachandran, former urban development secretary, as infrastructure advisor, with the status of a minister.

As infrastructure advisor, Ramachandran would be advising the state government as well as the Noida, Greater Noida, Yamuna Expressway and other development authorities and local bodies regarding the future expansion of cities, planning airports, expressways and other multi-modal-transportation for the cities. He would also advise the state on urban infrastructure financing, which would include exploring possibilities and suggesting ways to raise resources on its own and also through PPP model.

According to sources, he would also prepare a road map for providing infrastructure in cities and towns of the state, including policy facilitation.

The appointment, believe experts, signals a spate of activities that are being envisioned by the state in its fast-growing cities and also in western Uttar Pradesh, bordering the national capital region (NCR). "Noida, Greater Noida and the Yamuna Expressway Development Authorities are being widely seen as the nucleus of future growth and development in the state and hence a whole range of possibilities are expected to be probed there. To do so, the state would need to have someone with a strong background on planning urban infrastructure to advise it and Ramachandran is the answer to that," said an official on condition of anonymity, adding that the government's thrust of a slew of new townships, expressways, new airports and Metro and mono rail projects for Lucknow signal that the government is serious about upgrading infrastructure and providing planned urban solutions as per the city specific needs.

In fact, Ramachandran's vast experience as director of various central and state PSUs, development authorities, port trusts, stock exchange and his unique role in coordinating and developing Metro system in the country as the chairperson of Metro Rail Corporations of New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore would be of immense help to the UP government as would be his successful stint in spearheading the massive urban renewal programme through the Centre's flagship programme, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and other key initiatives. He is also tagged the 'Infrastructure Man' for his various initiatives as Uttarakhand infrastructure development commissioner.

Poor infrastructure has been the bane of Uttar Pradesh and it is often cited as one of the major reasons for the lack of interest shown by private developers to invest in it, both in the industrial sector as well as its spin offs such as housing and other related activities.

Source: FinancialExpress: http://news.in.msn.com/business/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4702816