Unfazed by criticism over poor implementation, the Maharashtra government has sought more funding from the World Bank for infrastructure projects in Mumbai, including public transport and water supply.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, along with senior bureaucrats, met the World Bank team, led by its managing director Ngozi Okonjo Iwealas, at Mantralaya, the state government's headquarters in Mumbai, on Monday.
Making a presentation, the government sought assistance of $40 billion for its metro and monorail projects, $185 million for water supply improvement, and assistance for 'phase III' of 'Mumbai transformation support unit, which it says costs $250 million per annum. It has also sought sizable assistance for the 'third phase' of the $6.7 billion Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP).
After the meeting, Chavan told the media that the government has requested the bank to give more funding for its metro and monorail project. While these projects, estimated to cost Rs40,000 crore, are proposed to be implemented on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis, the government has requested the WB to loan the amount as viability gap funding.
Apart from Mumbai projects, the government also sought help for rural water supply improvement and health projects.
Emphasising the fact that the Mumbai Metropolitan Region accounts for 37 per cent of the state's GDP and 70 per cent of its tax collection, the government sought more assistance for the projects in the metro.