Early 30 percent of India’s population lives in urban agglomerations. The fast-paced urbanization in the country, which is closely linked to the overall economic progress, has led the cities to encounter some serious challenges on the socio-economic front such as unemployment as well as the excess load on existing infrastructure in cities like housing, sanitation, transportation, health, education, utilities, etc. To upgrade the quality of life of people, especially the urban poor, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has been actively introducing new schemes and reinventing the existing schemes which deal with these specific issues.
Smart Cities Mission:-
Launched on June 25, 2015, the Smart Cities Mission is a flagship scheme under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. This ambitious program by the Indian Government aims at building 100 Smart Cities across India with a focus on planned urbanization and sustainable development as a support system for the neighboring cities. It also involves the development of high-quality infrastructure with the provision of basic amenities, education, health services, IT accessibility, digitization, e-governance, sustainable development, safety, and security. Global cities such as Singapore, Japan, and the USA are offering valuable support to India’s mission, which also emphasizes on economic development of urban centers by creating more jobs and enhancement in income.
Progress so far: The mission involves as many as 3,183 projects worth Rs 1,45,245 crore. But so far, work has been finished only in projects worth Rs 4,960 crore, amounting to only five percent of total projects. The target of completion of the projects was extended from 2019-20 to 2022-23 for the execution of projects in cities selected in round four. Funds worth Rs 500 crore will be released for the top 15 cities as per data released by the Ministry of Urban Development.
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) (Urban) or Housing for All
The scheme was launched on June 25, 2015, for providing 20 million affordable homes for the urban poor including slum dwellers by March 2022. The beneficiaries include an Economically weaker section (EWS), low-income groups (LIGs) and Middle-Income Groups (MIGs). Implemented as Centrally Sponsored Scheme with two components – PMAY (Urban) and PMAY (Rural), the mission involves providing central assistance to implementing agencies through States and UTs.
Progress so far: As per recent data by the union ministry, 51 lakh houses against the required 1 crore are approved in last 3 years of implementation, over 28 lakh houses grounded and in various stages of construction and 8 lakh houses have been completed with around 8 lakh houses occupied by the beneficiaries.
Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban (SBM – U)
Launched on October 2, 2014, The Swachh Bharat Mission is the government’s nationwide flagship program with the objective of universal sanitation coverage in urban areas with a budget allocation of Rs 41,765 crore for 2018-19. It is a comprehensive sanitation scheme which aims to make the country open defecation free by 2019, promote 100 percent collection and scientific processing of municipal solid waste, encourage healthy sanitation practices and equip the urban local bodies (ULBs) to design, execute and operate systems. The overall estimated cost for the SBM is Rs 62,009 crore of which Rs 14,787 crore is the center’s share.
Progress so far: As on March 31st, 2018, 52 lakh individual household toilets and 3.2 lakh public toilets have already been built. The Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, recently announced that the government will meet the target of building 72 lakh toilets one year ahead of its scheduled time.
Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNRUM)
Launched in 2005, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission was a city-modernization scheme with an investment of over $20 billion over seven years. It covers two components viz. provision of basic services for urban poor (BSUP) and an Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP). The scheme was designed to raise investment in urban infrastructure, build better civic amenities, ensure universal access to basic utilities as well as create affordable homes for the urban poor, slum dwellers and people of economically weaker sections.
Progress so far: As many as 65 mission cities were identified under the scheme. The sub-missions of JNNRUM were to promote widespread integrated development. The mission period of the scheme was extended up to March 2015 to complete ongoing works. JNNRUM has been replaced by another similar
AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation)
Launched in 2015, the focus of the AMRUT scheme was on infrastructure creation that has a direct link to the provision of better services to the citizens. Closely connected to the Swachh Bharat Mission, the scheme includes the provision of water supply facilities, sewerage networks, stormwater drains, urban transport, and open and green spaces, across the selected 500 Indian cities. The allocated budget under the scheme is around Rs 50,000 crore for the period 2016 – 2021.
Progress so far: Work on the projects is underway across 20 cities and towns.
Other urban development schemes:-
National Urban Sanitation Policy (NUSP): The National Urban Sanitation Policy was formulated in 2008 which laid out the government’s vision to provide hygienic and affordable sanitation facilities for the urban poor especially women as well as addressing the challenges with effective city sanitation plans.
Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY): The scheme was introduced on 21st January 2015 for the holistic development of heritage cities. It deals with preserving and reviving the soul of the heritage city, as well as the development of core heritage infrastructure projects and revitalization of urban infrastructure for areas around heritage assets.
National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM):-
Launched on 24th September 2013 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MHUPA), the scheme is a livelihood promotion program to reduce poverty and vulnerability of the urban poor households by enabling them to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities thereby enhancing their livelihood. It also addresses the livelihood concerns of urban street vendors. It has been implemented across 790 cities.
National Urban Transport Policy: The National Urban Transport Policy involves incorporating urban transportation as an important parameter at the urban planning stage. It also focuses on the introduction of intelligent transport systems, reduction of pollution levels and encouraging greater use of public transport and nonmotorized modes through central financial assistance.