Chennai, Tamilnadu India (PressExposure) August 23, 2011 -- MARG had bagged the PURA Pilot Project in Karaikal, Puducherry UT through competitive bidding under the PPP framework of Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India.
PURA (an acronym for Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) is a flagship program of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India. It was envisaged by former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as a sustainable and viable model for the delivery of basic urban services and facilities in rural areas to be managed through an implementation framework forged between local people, public authorities and the private sector. The scheme was re-configured after extensive consultation and research with state governments, private sector and multi-lateral development organizations.
MARG has been mandated to develop multi-dimensional projects and social inclusion programmes which will generate livelihood opportunities and provide basic amenities across 8 village Panchayats with an estimated population of 31,000 spread across 29.3 sq km of Karaikal District, Puducherry Union Territory. The total project cost is estimated at Rs. 93 crores.
Speaking on the occasion GRK Reddy, Chairman & Managing Director, MARG Group said, "MARG Karaikal port has been a vehicle for regional prosperity. Now this first ever PURA initiative at Karaikal district will further reinforce and strengthen the socio-economic fabric of the region. This is a unique initiative where PPP is integrated with Corporate Social Business and the capacity building and efficiency of the private sector is complemented by strategic and visionary support by the Government. The very fact that MARG stands for "Models of Accelerated Regional Growth" has prompted us to take a lead in this noble initiative first propounded by Dr. Abdul Kalam".
The benefits to Karaikal district will be in the form of skill development for over 4,000 individuals who can be employed in nearby industries. Income boosting initiatives which will have a multiplier effect resulting in doubling the per capita income and ultimately a higher quality of life to all households in the targeted villages. Further MARG would be focusing on the amenities suggested by MoRD like sanitation facilities, village streets, water supply system, rainwater harvesting, local community empowerment, capacity building, watershed projects, agricultural focused activities and non-conventional energy solutions.
While the PURA scheme is having support of Central and State Governments, technical assistance from the Asian development Bank (ADB), MARG has partnered with National Agro Foundation (NAF) as a project co-developer. NAF is a public charitable trust founded in 2000 by Bharat Ratna Shri C. Subramaniam, architect of India's green revolution. The organization's projects span across agricultural development, animal husbandry, social development, water shed and draining. Other renowned NGOs like Wockhardt Foundation and ExNoRa are also in talks to assist MARG in its endeavours. MARG has the mandate to develop one more project at Lathur Block, Kancheepuram district (Tamil Nadu) encompassing a cluster of 11 villages covering an area of 123 sq.km at an estimated cost of Rs. 100 crores. The investments made over a 10 year period are estimated to have a positive impact on the household income in the region. The household/ family income is expected to go up from Rs 1,36,000 per annum to Rs 4,50,000 per annum over the next decade.