We are gung ho about
It will facilitate innovative projects
The Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance
Corporation (KUIDFC) was set up in 1993 to assist the urban
agencies in the state in planning, financing and providing
expertise to develop urban infrastructure. KUIDFC is the nodal
agency for the externally aided projects and the centrally
sponsored Megacity Scheme. Jawaid Akhtar, IAS, Managing Director,
Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation
(KUIDFC) answered queries about his organisation through an
It has been over fourteen years since the Karnataka Urban
Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC)
was set up.
Can you briefly take us through the progress made by it since
then as a development and financing body?
The KUIDFC, since its inception, has been a key player in
planning, developing and implementing the urban infrastructure
projects in the state.
So far, KUIDFC has structured five Externally Assisted Projects,
three assisted by ADB and two by the World Bank. Through TA
studies, we have been facilitating the state government in
evolving state policies in urban management and carrying out
reforms. We are serving as the State Level Nodal Agency (SLNA)
under JN NURM. We have added a new dimension to infrastructure
financing by trying out innovative Municipal Pooled Finance
modal and have introduced PSP in the management of water distribution
network in the municipal context for the first time in the
country. We have also been focusing on newer areas in urban
management like energy efficiency, carbon trading etc
As MD what can you talk of KUIDFC's agenda and priorities
as far as Karnataka , Bangalore and other cities are concerned?
Our agenda for the future includes conceptualisation of projects
and creative initiatives in urban sector, expanding resource
base for financing infrastructure projects, bringing in new
technologies, processes and practices in urban management
to evolve an efficient urban governance framework and service
delivery models for the ULBs. Our immediate priority is to
roll out ADB assisted NKUSIP, aimed at reducing regional imbalance
in Karnataka , and pushing implementation of the World Bank
assisted KMRP as well as the reforms associated with these
projects. Our priority is also to prepare a comprehensive
Water Sector Strategy to hasten reforms.
KUIDFC's role, as is known, is to assist urban agencies in
the state in planning, financing and providing engineering
expertise to develop urban infrastructure. Can you talk of
the major organisations and projects supported by KUIDFC and
their current status? The KUIDFC has structured various EAPs
as well as the Greater Bangalore Water and Sanitation Project.
We have prepared CDP for Bangalore city under JNNURM. We are
also preparing the Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation
Plan (CTTP) for Bangalore. This CTTP would be a detailed report
and would be the first of its kind.
What are the challenges faced by KUIDFC on a day-to-day basis?
The main challenges faced by KUIDFC include preparation of
good project plans and timely implementation of the projects.
Implementation of reforms is an important and cumbersome work
requiring capacity building in civic agencies. At the Finance
side, ensuring that the ULBs pay their contribution in time
for implementation of the project and also keep repaying the
loans is a major challenge. Now that the infrastructure industry
is booming, mobilisation of technical personnel is also a
Can you tell us about your organisation's performance?
During the last one year, we have negotiated and got approved
the ADB assisted North Karnataka Urban Sector Improvement
Programme (NKUSIP), under which integrated development will
be taken up in 25 important north Karnataka towns. This is
also the period in which continuous water supply schemes in
Hubli-Dhawar, Belgaum and Gulbarga was operationalise. During
this period, the City Development Plans for Bangalore and
Mysore were prepared and projects worth more than Rs.1600
crore were approved in respect of these two cities.
KUIDFC has used ICT applications in a remarkable way.
Can you tell us how your organisation was transformed into
a digital workplace?
With more projects coming our way, we became a multifold
interactive agency dealing with multilateral and other external
entities. With this increase in our role, it was imperative
for us to provide a cutting edge technology to project teams.
The transformation is happening through e-Governance initiatives
with a long term IT strategy, choosing right platform/premise
for automation of core business processes like finance, accounting,
project management, document management etc.
Your partnership with Sobis and IBM has made KUIDFC an 'On
Demand' enterprise. Have other development bodies been inspired
by your success? Some of the organisations which got inspired
include - SIDCUL - State Industrial Development Corporation,
Uttaranchal, Railway Wheel and Axle Plant, Yelahanka, Bangalore,
South Western Railway, Divisional Office, Bangalore, and Ceylanco,
a leading Private Sector Life Insurance Agency in Srilanka.
What are the important projects KUIDFC will be undertaking
in the future?
What are the specific areas of urban development that KUIDFC
can further contribute?
We are looking forward to commencing implementation of NKUSIP
during 2007. We have made progress in conceptualising infrastructure
projects for 146 towns in the state which are not covered
under any other project implemented by us. We would be playing
an important role in scaling up reform agenda under KMRP and
getting more projects commenced under JNNURM.
The Karnataka government has announced its most recent infrastructure
In what way has it contributed to the smooth running of agencies
such as yours?
The new Infrastructure Policy will be of immense utility
to the urban sector. It will, inter alia, facilitate commencement
of innovative projects.
Key KUIFDC projects
Mega City Scheme
Bangalore is one of the major cities in the country besides
Bombay, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad identified
by the Government of India as a Mega City under the scheme.
Under this scheme, the Central Government contributes 25 per
cent of the project cost by way of grant and the State Government
contributes its matching share of 25 per cent. The remaining
50 per cent has to be met out by the implementing agencies
out of their own/internal resources or through Institutional
Finance. The Mega City Projects envisages overall improvement
in the quality of life of Bangaloreans on account of developed
infrastructure facilities, environmental improvements, slum
upgradation, easing of traffic congestion by constructing
grade separators, pedestrian subways etc. Under this scheme,
63 projects at an estimated cost of Rs.1884 crore have been
taken up, of which 51 have already been completed. GoI has
closed this scheme from the FY 2005-06.
Greater Bangalore Water and Sanitation Project (GBWASP)
This project aims at providing Water Supply and Sewerage facilities
to eight ULBs around Bangalore (now part of BBMP). The water
supply project is being financed under an innovative Pooled
Finance concept under which Rs.100 crore, has been raised
through Tax Free Pooled Municipal Bonds from the open market
without government guarantee. An element of Beneficiary Capital
Contribution has been introduced in funding the project cost.
The sewerage part of the project is being funded under the
WB assisted KMRP. Projects under JNNURM Government of India
has introduced Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Commission
(JNNURM) with a view to encourage cities to initiate steps
to bring about improvement in the existing service levels
in a financially sustainable manner. The Mission comprises
two sub-missions namely the Urban Infrastructure and Governance
(UIG) and the Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP). The
thrust areas include basic infrastructure components like
water supply, sewerage and sanitation, solid waste management,
storm water drainage system, road net work, urban transport
etc. The Mission also focuses on integrated Development of
Slums and provisions of basic Services to the Urban Poor.
The Mission requires the State Governments and cities seeking
assistance to undertake State Level and Municipal Level reforms.
Several consultative meetings with the stakeholders, NGOs
and citizens have been held at different levels to seek the
views/suggestions on the Vision/Mission statements to be included
in the CDP. The City Development Plans (CDPs) for Bangalore
and Mysore have been prepared and approved by competent authorities.
Memoranda of Agreement for these two cities have been signed
by the GoI, GoK & BBMP and Mysore City Corporation.
Karnataka Urban Development and Coastal Environmental Management
The Project will support the Government's priority investment
in the urban sector, based on an urban sector development
strategy that focuses on improving the welfare of the urban
poor and the devolution of municipal management responsibility
from states to urban local bodies. This integrated urban development
project will help meet basic human needs by developing urban
services for water supply and sanitation, solid waste and
wastewater management, and slum and environmental improvements.
The Project will also support street improvements and traffic
management, and strengthen other municipal services required
to improve the quality of life in urban areas. The Project
will provide assistance in capacity building and community
participation at the state and local levels and in Project
Karnataka Urban Water Sector Improvement Project (KUWASIP)
This is a project for reforms & service improvements
through Private Sector Participation (PSP) in the water sector
in Karnataka. The project mainly seeks to implement the strategy
enunciated in the Urban Drinking Water & Sanitation Policy
of GoK. It will be implemented in phases. GoK and World Bank
have approved the first phase. The three towns selected for
investments in the first phase are Belgaum, Gulbarga &
o ADB assisted North Karnataka Urban Sector Investment Programme
o World Bank assisted Karnataka Municipal Reforms Project