After losing out in the Smart City race, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) bid to get funds under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme, the central government’s flagship project, has failed too.The BMC had sought Rs 28,000 crore under the scheme but the central government refused to give even a single penny.The Centre’s argument is that the BMC is ‘overqualified’ as the scheme is meant only for smaller municipal corporations which lack even basic facilities.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Manisha Mhaiskar, principal secretary, urban development department, confirmed the development to dna: “The BMC already exceeds the benchmarks and parameters set by the Centre under the scheme. So, BMC is not getting funds for now.”Last month, Mumbai had to put its Smart City dreams on hold, with the BMC failing to make the cut in the Centre’s first list of 20 cities.A senior civic official explained: “Since we already supply over 3,750 million litres of water daily and have sewerage treatment plants, we already exceed the Centre’s AMRUT benchmarks. It would have been a boost to the city’s infrastructure, had we got funds. Major projects could have been fast-tracked. We might get funding in the later phase though,” said a senior civic official.According to officials, AMRUT was set up to ensure that every household has access to tap water, assured supply and sewerage connection.”The scheme also aims to increase the amenity value of cities by developing greenery and well-maintained open spaces (parks) and reducing pollution by encouraging public transport, walking and cycling,” an official explained.The BMC was even willing to shell out the share of the state government, officials said.One-third of the total funds for the scheme is provided by the central government. Cities with a population of over 10 lakh are eligible. The remaining amount has to be shared by the state and the concerned civic body or raised through private investment.Officials said that of the Rs 28,000 crore demanded under the scheme, Rs 17,500 crore would have been used for drinking water supply. The remaining amount was to be used for sewerage management.Part of the plan was to improve drinking water supply included construction of the Gargai and Pinjal dam projects, conducting structural repairs to the Ghatkopar low level and Veravali II reservoirs.On one of the benchmarks, an official said: “Despite the city supplying 3,750 million litres of water supply daily, a large quantity of water (25-30%) is wasted due to leakage and pilferage. Due to this, the city still faces water cuts.”

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Centre denies Rs 28,000 crore-AMRUT to BMC