Lauding Maharashtra for the progress it has made in flagship urban infrastructure projects, Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said, “Maharashtra has shown the way to other states, taking a lead in all the flagship projects under urban infrastructure, including the Prime Minister Awas Yojana and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.”
At the end of four hours of a marathon meeting held with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and officials from the Centre and the state, the projects were reviewed to ascertain the progress and any course correction needed to expedite the work.
The chief minister urged the Centre to include Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA) projects under Prime Minister Awas Yojana to facilitate the process of making Mumbai and Maharashtra slum free and providing better housing and basic amenities to slum colonies.
After the meeting, Naidu and Fadnavis held a joint interaction with the media to outline the progress. Naidu said, “Maharashtra has got Rs 67,523 crore for urban infrastructure, which is the highest amount sanctioned to a state so far under the urban renewal mission and metro projects.”
The state has received Rs 19,100 crore for seven smart cities of the total 60 across India, whereas, the state has bagged Rs 13,564 crore under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana and Rs 7,759 crore under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). Under Swachh Bharat mission, the state has been allocated Rs 7,000 crore, he added.
Acknowledging the challenges in Maharashtra, which has the highest 50 per cent urban population, Naidu said, “The Rs 20,100 crore Metro projects accounts for 42 per cent of the total component sanctioned for the country within three years.”
Lauding the chief minister, the Union minister said, “I understand Maharashtra has many challenges unlike other states as it has to deal with the highest urban population. Yet, considering all the factors, both administrative and political, Fadnavis has given the centre a lead by enforcing key projects keeping pace with the set target.”
Figures show that while the state has made 263 cities Open Defecation Free (ODF), out of the total 8.99 lakh toilet target, it has completed construction of 4.06 lakh so far.
The state appears to have fared better in community toilets compared to individual household toilets according to the statistics showing 87 per cent of the target accomplished. In solid waste management and segregation at source, the state has taken the lead with 80 per cent in eight cities and 50 per cent in 12 cities. The chief minister said, “Apart from new projects sanctioned, the state under JNNURM has completed Rs 8,000 crore projects which were pending for the last eight to ten years.”
By October 2,2017 urban Maharashtra will become ODF. And the entire rural Maharashtra will achieve the ODF target by 2018-19, he indicated.
Naidu said, “The completion of the scheme is being monitored by the centre to ascertain the actual work. Along with smart cities, the livability index will be crucial, especially in solid waste management, public transport, and housing sectors.”