India will launch the USD 40 billion second phase of its urban renewal mission in about four months,Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath told delegates attending the World Cities Summit here today.
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) phase II would be carried out over the next five years as India works to cover its infrastructure deficit throughout the country and manage massive urbanisation programmes,he told the Summit’s opening plenary session.
“The challenge is not only to bridge the deficit but to also to build for the future,” Nath said,adding that India has spent close to USD 15 billion on the first phase of the mission which was launched in December 2005.
The Central Government would use the second JnNURM phase to support infrastructure development in states.
He highlighted water,sewage and transportation among the main challenges for India in building capacities in cities.
Nath disclosed that project reports were being finalised on building metro in every city with a population of two million.
“Though only 31 per cent of the India is urbanised,yet we have second largest urban population in the world. As India grows,the growth preceded infrastructure,” he said.
Meanwhile,Nath welcomed the nomination of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for the Lee Kuan Yew City Prize 2012.
“Certainly Indian cities have achieved a lot and certainly the Indian cities will achieve a lot,” he said after addressing the plenary session.
“But the scale is so large,we have to endeavour to see many more cities nominated for awards,” he said in comments on Ahmedabad being given special mention in the award.
This year’s Prize was awarded to New York City from a list of seven nominations.
Others in the nominations were Brisbane,Copenhagen,Malmo,Vancouver and AHT Group AG & Sun Development.
Nath said the number of Indian cities,each with population of over one million,would increase to between 65 and 70 in the next decade from the 55 at present.
This would raise the bar of challenge in providing for infrastructure in the coming years,he stressed.
Other dignitaries speaking at the session,highlighted the importance of advance planning in building future cities and called on private sector participation with the state of the art technologies.
Some 15,000 delegates are attending three events in Singapore this week –World Cities Summit,Singapore International Water Week and CleanEnviro Summit.