Four months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), an inter-ministerial apex committee has cleared projects for more than half of the 500 cities identified for the mission. The total investments in these cities will amount to Rs 11,654 crore.
On Thursday, at its third meeting since the launch of the urban infrastructure mission, the panel headed by the Secretary of the Minister of Urban Development cleared 102 projects, taking the total number of cities with cleared projects to 272 across 13 states. Projects were cleared for augmentation of infrastructure in states of Kerala, West Bengal, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Telangana.
Most of the projects are for ensuring universal water supply and sewage connections, since the mission focuses primarily on these two areas. A few projects are for improving drainage networks, non-motorised urban transport such as cycling and walkways for pedestrians, and development of open spaces.
“Unlike in the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, where the Centre appraised every project before releasing funds, in this case we left it to the states to do an analysis on the infrastructure gaps and prepare state-level plans. These plans are then collectively approved by the apex panel,” said a ministry official. A total of Rs 50,000 crore has been earmarked as Central assistance for the five-year mission period. The funding, linked to reforms expected out of the cities, will only finance half the project cost in cities and towns with a population of up to 10 lakh and 30 per cent of the cost in 53 cities with a population of more than 10 lakh each. The remaining funds are to be generated by state governments and urban local bodies.