Smart City push: India braces for mega urban renewal projects

Imparting a fresh momentum to the country’s development agenda, the Indian government is set to launch three mega urbanisation projects, which is estimated to cost around $94 billion.

These signature urban projects include  ‘Smart City’, ‘Atal Mission’ and ‘Housing for All by 2022,’ and are expected to cost the national exchequer Rs 400000 crores. 

The prime minister will launch these flagship programmes in New Delhi on June 25. Senior officials from state governments and Union Territories dealing with urban affairs, including municipal commissioners and mayors, will be present at the launch ceremony.

During the event, he will also announce the implementation guidelines for the two urban renewal projects – Smart City and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). Under the ‘Smart City’ project, the government aims to develop 100 smart cities across the country, while the new urban renewal mission, AMRUT, is aimed at rejuvenating 500 Indian cities.

‘Housing for All by 2022’, a programme for the rehabilitation of slum-dwellers and promotion of affordable housing for the urban poor, was cleared by the Cabinet on June 17. The government aims to provide 2000000 affordable housing for urban poor. 

The central budgetary approval for the ‘Housing for All’ project would be about Rs 3 lakh cr ($70 billion) over the next seven years. For the ‘Smart City’ project, the government has earmarked Rs 48,000 cr, (around $11 billion) while Rs 50,000 crore (around $12 billion) will be spent on AMRUT. 

These programmes featured prominently in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s manifesto for the Lok Sabha election in 2014, with Prime Minister Modi leading the charge  for the country’s urban renaissance.  

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