Urban renewal mission to cover 28 more cities

June 16th, 2010 - 12:47 am ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 15 (IANS) The central government plans to fund 28 more cities under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) to improve civic infrastructure, union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said here Tuesday.
“We are considering including 28 more cities in the second phase of the urban renewal mission (JNNURM-2). The Planning Commission will consider the proposal to include 28 cities with five lakh population as per the 2001 census in the 12th five-year plan (2012-2017),” Reddy told reporters on the margins of an infrastructure meet.

In the first phase of the Rs.50,000-crore mission, launched in December 2005, 65 cities with one million population as per the 2001 census are being given funds for improving urban amenities such as roads, bridges, flyovers, drinking water, sewage system, solid waste management and public transport.

Bangalore and Mysore in Karnataka are availing funds under the seven-year city modernisation scheme to improve amenities.

Hubli in north Karnataka is one of the 28 cities being considered for inclusion in the mission’s second phase.

“Though Rs.50,000 crore was initially budgeted for the scheme over a seven-year period, we have taken up several projects worth Rs.112,000 crore during the last four years,” he said.

“We have exhausted the allocated fund. It will be difficult to seek more funds from the budget due to resource constraints. We have to explore other avenues to raise funds. Public-private partnership (PPP) can be one model,” Reddy said.

“Besides widening roads, improving solid waste management, drinking water supply and other civic services, the mission has enabled many of the 65 cities to deploy about 15,200 commuter-friendly buses during the last two years,” Reddy said.

Noting that increasing urbanisation due to demographic changes and constant migration from rural areas in search of jobs would add more pressure on the existing infrastructure in the cities, Reddy said spending in the infrastructure sector would have to go up to 10 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) from nine percent in this fiscal (2010-11) and seven percent in the last fiscal (2009-10).

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