AMRUT Cities

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In a step towards creating provision for basic services (the ones that are really needed) for the Indian citizens, particularly the poor and disadvantaged ones, the Government of India has launched the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme in June 2015. The three key areas that shall be primarily addressed under this scheme are to:-

  • ensure that every household has access to a tap with 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).

While launching the scheme the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi explained “there is a lack of holistic vision about urban planning, and expansion is driven not by the administrators of a city, but by property developers. Through AMRUT, the aim of the Government is to give cities themselves the chance to plan their future growth.” For the first time ever in India, any scheme has called for public participation. Government shall look at the ideas given by the masses for improvement and implementation of the scheme and take them into consideration as per feasibility analysis.

The thrust areas undertaken in AMRUT scheme include issue that are imperative to be addressed to raise the standard of living of common masses and provide them with bare minimum amenities. It includes water supply, sewerage facilities and septage management,

Storm water drains to reduce flooding, pedestrian, non-motorized and public transport facilities, parking spaces, and enhancing amenity value of cities by creating and upgrading green spaces, parks and recreation centers, especially for children.

500 cities have been selected for AMRUT, primarily those that have a population over 1 lakh citizens. 13 cities that have significance due to being located at the stem of main rivers but have a population between the range of 75,000 -1,00,000 have also been selected under the scheme. Similarly ten cities have been selected from hill states, islands and tourist destinations irrespective of the minimum population criteria.

Rs. 50,000 crore has been initially allocated towards development of basic infrastructure facilities in the 500 AMRUT cities/towns which shall be spread over a 5 year term from FY 2015-16 to FY 2019-20. An evaluation shall be done by Ministry of Urban Development thereafter and decision shall be taken accordingly. The fund shall be divided amongst States/Union territories by equitably taking into account the urban population of each State/UT(Census 2011) and the number of statutory towns in the State/UT.

While Uttar Pradesh has bagged in maximum number of AMRUT cities (64), 37 AMRUT cities have been identified in Maharashtra, 31 in Gujarat and 31 cities in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh each. Rajasthan gets 30 AMRUT cities while West Bengal gets 28 cities.27 cities fall under Bihar, 19 each in Haryana and Orissa, 17 in Punjab, 15 in Telangana and 10 in Chhattisgarh. Delhi gets one city in its share of nomination.

The Prime Minister stated : “As the world looks to India, we have to work towards reaching the world standard. We can’t feel disheartened that the world has progressed and we missed the bus.”

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