BHUBANESWAR, February 9: Odisha Government today approved Rs 143.34 crore for expansion and strengthening of basic service under 41 projects in Nine Urban Centres under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
The Housing & Urban Development (DoHUD) department will execute the projects in the urban areas so that standard of providing the basic services will be increased and the cities will raise their own revenues.
The department was asked to include at least 90 per cent city residents in the projects by simplifying the tax collection process.
Chief Secretary A P Padhi while presiding over a meeting directed the department to execute e-tax payment system in the major cities including Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
He suggested the officials to increase revenue by streamlining the advertisement release as per the 2013 advertisement guidelines in cities.
Housing and Urban Development Special Secretary S K Ratho said, "In first phase 41 projects including drinking water supply, cleaning of drains and development of public places were approved at the meeting for 9 cities -- Cuttack, Puri, Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Rourkela, Baripada, Balasore, Sambalpur and Bhadrak for 2015-16 fiscal".
The Government has allocated Rs 143.34 crore for the projects. For the project expenditure both the Union and State governments will bear the cost on 50:50 basis, he said.
While the Centre has already provided Rs 45.63 crore for the projects so far, the State has released the equal amount.
A total of Rs 91 crore has been given to Odisha Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (OUIDF) for commencing the projects, Ratho said.
Meanwhile, the State Government has appointed Engineers India Limited as the Project Director and Managing Advisor. The project preparation, quality management and skill development assignments have already begun, officials said.
The training and visiting of various cities programmes have started for skill development of the city executive engineers, junior engineers, employees and elected representatives.
The State Government has decided to include all the AMRUT Mission cities under skill development programme by end of March this year, Ratho said.