Urban infrastructure projects AMRUT Yojana – All India Radio (AIR) IAS UPSC

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  • September 28, 2020
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Urban infrastructure projects AMRUT Yojana

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General Studies 1:

  • Urbanization, their problems and their remedies

General Studies 2

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

What is Urbanisation?

The Census of India, 2011 defines urban settlement as, all the places which have municipality, corporation and cantonment board or notified town area committee. Additionally, all the other places which satisfy following criteria:

  • A minimum population of 5000 persons ;
  • At least 75 % of male main working population engaged in non-agricultural pursuits ; and
  • A density of population of at least 400 persons per square kilometre

Urbanisation: A transformative force – By 2030, 600 million Indians, or 40 per cent of the country’s population, would be residing in urban areas. If this urbanisation is to happen in a planned manner, we will need to build 700 to 900 million square meters of properly designed residential and commercial space in urban areas every year from now to 2030. It is imperative that the country moves from being a “reluctant urbaniser” to one that embraces urbanisation as a transformative force that can deliver an improved quality of life for all its citizens.

About Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)

Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), which ‘replaces’ the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, will give the States and the Union Territories the liberty and flexibility in formulation, approval and execution of projects.

  • AMRUT adopts a project approach to ensure basic infrastructure services relating to water supply, sewerage, storm water drains, transport and development of green spaces and parks with special provision for meeting the needs of children.
  • Implementation of this mission will be linked to promotion of urban reforms such as e-governance, constitution of professional municipal cadre, devolving funds and functions to urban local bodies, review of building bye-laws, improvement in assessment and collection of municipal taxes, credit rating of urban local bodies, energy and water audit and citizen-centric urban planning in cities other than the 100 smart cities.
  • Under this project, 10% of the budget allocation will be given to states/union territories as incentive based on achievement of reforms during the previous year.

The purpose of Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) is to

  • Ensure that every household has access to a tap with the assured supply of water and a sewerage connection.
  • Increase the amenity value of cities by developing greenery and well maintained open spaces (e.g. parks) and
  • Reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorized transport (e.g. walking and cycling). All these outcomes are valued by citizens, particularly women, and indicators and standards have been prescribed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA ) in the form of Service Level Benchmarks (SLBs).

Some of the major achievements –

  • Online Building Permission System (OBPS)- To facilitate Ease of Doing Business in construction permits
  • Replacements of Street Lights with LED lights- Led to energy savings and reduction in CO2 emission.
  • Credit Rating- Cities with lower rating are following measures to improve their performance so that they become credit worthy and raise funds for their projects.
  • Raising of bonds leads to improved governance, accounting systems, finance, transparency, accountability and delivery of services in the ULBs. It will also enhance their self-dependence and confidence to serve the citizens.

Jan Shakti Abhiyan-Urban

In order to address the national issue of water scarcity, Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) has undertaken Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) from 1st July 2019. The aim is to make water conservation measures a Jan andolan, through extensive Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities across the country in 754 water-stressed cities.

  • Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) – to recharge ground water sources and to store water
  • Reuse of treated wastewater
  • Rejuvenation of water bodies- to clean and rejuvenate defunct wells and water bodies
  • Plantation- to mobilise the local community members to conduct plantation drives across the cities.

PM Modi inaugurate seven urban infrastructure projects in Bihar

  1. Sewerage treatment plants at Beur and Karam-Leechak in Patna city
  2. Water-related projects in Siwan and Chhapra
  3. Foundation stones were also laid for water supply projects in Munger and Jamalpur
  4. River Front Development Scheme under Namami Gange in Muzaffarpur

About Smart Cities Mission

  • It is an innovative initiative under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • The Mission covers 100 cities for the duration of five years starting from the financial year (FY) 2015-16 to 2019-20.
  • It aims to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local development and harnessing technology as a means to create smart outcomes for citizens.
  • Objective: To promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of Smart Solutions.

Do you know?

  • Low-cost interventions such as pop-up cycle lanes and non-motorised zones and community-led cycle rental schemes would be explored.
  • The finance portal will get financial statements of all cities on a single platform. This will enable sharing and learning of best practices and helps urban local bodies in accessing market funds.

Important achievements in the five years of Smart Cities Mission

  • About 31% of projects identified under the Smart Cities Mission have been completed
  • About 33% of urban housing sanctioned through the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) have been completed
  • Under the Smart Cities Mission, 5,151 projects worth Rs. 2 lakh crore had been identified in 100 cities.
  • So far around 4,700 projects worth Rs. 1.66 lakh crore or 81% of the total projects had been tendered and 1,638 projects worth Rs. 27,000 crore had been completed.
  • Through the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), the government had provided 79 lakh household water tap connections and 45 lakh sewer connections.

Global Innovation Index 2020 released

  • India’s rank: 48th
  • India has climbed 4 spots.
  • With this, India ranked in the top 50 countries for the first time in the Global Innovation Index.
  • World’s most-innovative economies: (1) Switzerland, (2) Sweden, (3) USA, (4) UK and (5) Netherlands.
  • India ranks in the top 15 in indicators such as ICT services exports, government online services, graduates in science and engineering and R&D-intensive global companies.
  • India is the lower middle-income economy with the highest innovation due to universities like IIT Delhi and Bombay, IIS Bengaluru and other top scientific publications.

Do you know?

  • India was at the 52nd position in 2019 and was ranked 81st in the year 2015.
  • The WIPO had also accepted India as one of the leading innovation achievers of 2019 in the central and southern Asian region.
  • The 2020 edition of the GII presents the annual innovation ranking of 131 economies.
  • Its 80 indicators explore a broad vision of innovation, including political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication.
  • The theme of GII, 2020 – Who Will Finance Innovation?

Must Read: Pandemic and Urbanisation

Connecting the Dots:

  1. Smart Cities mission
  2. The smart cities project is faced with multiple challenges and ambiguities in terms of its financial model, governance and scale. Critically examine.

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