Articles

The Inside ‘n Out – All You Need To Know About AMRUT

Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation

 The Inside ‘n Out – Episode Number Eleven 

The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015 with a mission aimed at transforming 500 cities and towns into efficient urban living spaces, with special focus on a healthy and green environment for children. The Cabinet approved Rs 50,000 crore for this mission which is to be spent over the next five years. Both projects 100 smart cities and AMRUT are interlinked, however, each has a special focus on urban infrastructure development that India needs if it has to emerge as a strong contender for a developed nation status, in times ahead.

Read here : Smart City Decoded

What is the difference between Smart City Project and AMRUT?

The AMRUT mission takes a project approach in working towards improving existing basic infrastructure services like extending clean drinking water supply, improving sewerage networks, laying of storm water drains, improving public transport services and creating green public spaces like parks etc, with special focus on creating healthy open spaces for children.

The Smart Cities Mission will focus on developing 100 select Smart cities by focusing on optimising efficiencies in urban services and infrastructure management, with proactive use of technology and people participation. The Mission will support each selected city with Rs 100 crore per year, for a period of five years.

 Eligibility  

Potential Smart Cities and AMRUT cities are to be based on an objective and equitable criteria giving equal weightage to urban population and number of statutory cities in each State/UT. Housing Mission to be he in all the 4,041 statutory cities/towns. Under AMRUT, allocation of funds will be as per urban population and number of cities/towns in each State/UT.

Cities will be chosen on the basis of SLIP (Service Level Improvement Plans). A formulation on City level SLIP is done based on diligent estimation of ambiguities in the availability of infrastructure like water supply, sewerage network, draining system, transportation facilities, available digital and internet facilities, industrial facilities etc. 135litres per capita per day is another factor in the process including water supply and sewerage connections to all urban households.

 Coverage of AMRUT 

Five hundred cities will be taken up under AMRUT. The list of cities will be notified at the appropriate time. The category of cities that will be covered in the AMRUT is given below:

  1. All Cities and Towns with a population of over one lakh with notified Municipalities, including Cantonment Boards (Civilian areas),
  2. All Capital Cities/Towns of States/ UTs, not covered in above ,
  3. All Cities/ Towns classified as Heritage Cities by MoUD under the HRIDAY Scheme,
  4. Thirteen Cities and Towns on the stem of the main rivers with a population above 75,000 and less than 1 lakh, and
  5. Ten Cities from hill states, islands and tourist destinations (not more than one from each State).

 Main Areas where AMRUT will work 

The Mission will focus on the following Thrust Areas:

  1. Water Supply,
  2. Sewerage facilities and septage management,
  3. Storm Water drains to reduce flooding,
  4. Pedestrian, non-motorized and public transport facilities, parking spaces, and
  5. Enhancing amenity value of cities by creating and upgrading green spaces, parks and recreation centers, especially for children.

 Mission Components 

The components of the AMRUT consist of capacity building, reform implementation, water supply, sewerage and septage management, storm water drainage, urban transport and development of green spaces and parks. During the process of planning, the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) will strive to include some smart features in the physical infrastructure components. The details of the Mission components are given below.

  1. Water Supply
    • Water supply systems including augmentation of existing water supply, water treatment plants and universal metering.
    • Rehabilitation of old water supply systems, including treatment plants.
    • Rejuvenation of water bodies specifically for drinking water supply and recharging of ground water.
    • Special water supply arrangement for difficult areas, hill and coastal cities, including those having water quality problems (e.g. arsenic, fluoride)
  2. Sewerage
    • Decentralised, networked underground sewerage systems, including augmentation of existing sewerage systems and sewage treatment plants.
    • Rehabilitation of old sewerage system and treatment plants.
    • Recycling of water for beneficial purposes and reuse of wastewater.
  3. Septage
    • Faecal Sludge Management- cleaning, transportation and treatment in a costeffective manner.
    • Mechanical and Biological cleaning of sewers and septic tanks and recovery of operational cost in full.
  4. Storm Water Drainage
    • Construction and improvement of drains and storm water drains in order to reduce and eliminate flooding.
  5. Urban Transport
    • Ferry vessels for inland waterways (excluding port/bay infrastructure) and buses.
    • Footpaths/ walkways, sidewalks, foot over-bridges and facilities for non-motorised transport (e.g. bicycles).
    • Multi-level parking.
    • Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS).
  6. Green space and parks
    • Development of green space and parks with special provision for child-friendly components.
  7. Reforms management & support
    • Support structures, activities and funding support for reform implementation.
    • Independent Reform monitoring agencies.
  8. Capacity Building
    • This has two components- individual and institutional capacity building.
    • The capacity building will not be limited to the Mission Cities, but will be extended to other ULBs as well.
    • Continuation of the Comprehensive Capacity Building Programme (CCBP) after its realignment towards the new Missions.
  9. Indicative (not exhaustive) list of inadmissible components
    • Purchase of land for projects or project related works,
    • Staff salaries of both the States/ULBs,
    • Power,
    • Telecom,
    • Health,
    • Education, and
    • Wage employment programme and staff component.

 Challenges ahead 

Till now central control over projects did not succeed in improving or incentivising state level involvement. With the new approach of extending central funding support and leaving it to the states to execute and monitor the projects as per their priorities and local needs, the centre has shifted the challenge and responsibility to the states.

The problem is that municipal functioning at the state level is heavily politicized and corrupt. The big question is – will the states be able to rise above petty politics and ensure corrupt free and efficient implementation of mission objectives? There cannot be a successful urban mission of transformation without establishing the requisite professionally run management structure, with necessary checks and balances built-in, and one that has the ability to adopt technology and deliver efficient services.


 

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