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Puri gives updates on urban transportation scheme

Minister gives details of AMRUT projects

Ten more cities have issued tenders for implementing Integrated Command & Control center projects under a national rejuvenation and urban transportation scheme, said Housing and Urban Development Minister Hardeep S. Puri.

Thirty-three cities have issued tenders with working beginning in 16 of them, he said of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).

He said 215 AMRUT projects worth Rs.157 Crores completed, 1,606 projects worth Rs.32,459 Crores are at various stages of Implementation

The Integrated Command & Control Center projects which enable fast and efficient citizen service delivery in an integrated way, are being developed in 20 cities. Some of these are already operational in cities like Pune, Surat, Vadodara, producing positive results.

Addressing a workshop on ‘Accelerating Implementation of Urban Missions: AMRUT and SMART CITIES’ in New Delhi on 8 Dec 2017, Minister said that for smart reuse and wastewater projects, 33 cities have issued tenders, and work has begun in 16 of them.

He said 44 cities have issued tenders for rooftop solar projects on government buildings while 38 cities have started work on these green energy developments.

The AMRUT and Smart Cities Missions can be seen as inter-linked programmes where AMRUT follows a project-based approach and Smart Cities Mission an area-based strategy.

Although area based approach is not new, the way Smart City is conceptualized, it is meant to set examples that can be replicated both within and outside the Smart City.

It is, therefore, expected to catalyse creation of similar Smart Cities in various parts of the country, Puri elaborated.

The Minister provided progress made under AMRUT.

Projects worth Rs.77,640 crores were approved for the city-wise service level improvement (SLIP) for all the 500 cities and State Annual Action Plans (SAAP) for all the 36 States/Union Territories.

Under AMRUT, 215 projects worth Rs.157 crores have already been completed, 1,606 projects worth Rs.32,459 crores are at various stages of implementation and about 1,800 projects worth Rs.23,568 crores are under tendering stage.

Puri also provided the details of the three-tiered approach being followed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for states and cities to implement the reform Agenda.

These are as follows:

First Tier: the performance grant of the 14th finance commission of about Rs18,000 Crore is used to accelerate on-going key financial and service level reforms in cities.

The 14th Finance Commission gave recommendations for assured transfers to Local Bodies for a period of five years (2015-16 to 2019-20). A total of Rs.87,143.80 crores will be transferred to Municipalities during the award period. These grants are being transferred in two parts – Basic Grant and Performance Grant (in the ratio 80:20).

“We have revised the conditions to ensure that cities become financially self-sufficient,” he pointed out.

Second Tier: AMRUT Reforms consisted of launch of 11 Urban Management and governance reforms comprising of 54 milestones. These reforms have been achieved by all the States and cities.

“Hence, we added five more to the new list of AMRUT New Reforms which included Value Capture Financing, credit rating and Municipal bonds, municipal cadre professionalization, trust and verify approach for frontline services like building permissions and land titling,” he said.

Third Tier: Incentive fund with a focus on ‘rapid’ and transformational reforms along the three main pillars: governance, planning, and financing focusing on strengthening devolution, own source revenue mobilization, and flexible urban planning.

These reforms will enhance downstream accountability mechanisms like making local ward committees responsible for Operational and Maintenance of projects etc.

The focus is on big ticket policy reforms at the state level as a priority and to strike a balance by including an aligned set of reform for cities (more at operational, implementation level).

“The plan is to design the incentive mechanism for these big ticket reforms as a challenge where in states and cities compete against each other and are incentivised for their performance in reform implementation,” said the Minister.

Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary in the Ministry, told the workshop that the aim is to provide a platform to learn from each other’s experiences of success and challenges faced to accelerate the progress of work.

It will allow cities to leapfrog in implementation.

The focus is on:

Digitally Integrated Smart Solutions through Command and Control Centers;

Street Re-design and Smart Roads;

Development of public domain such as squares/public spaces/and rejuvenation of lakes;

Impactful projects, and Implementation of AMRUT.

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