The Indian economy is growing at an average rate of 7.2% per year in the last few years and the cities are now main driving force of economic growth. Sixty percent of India’s GDP is produced in urban agglomerations. At the same time, India is faced with the challenges posed by rapid growth of cities themselves. According to the 2001 census, the population of India is 1,027 million of which 28% live in cities. It is expected that by 2021, this proportion would increase to 39% and by 2051; half of Indians are expected to live in cities. The rapid pace of urbanization in the country and the growth of the urban economy have put the spotlight on the urban sector.
Indian policy makers face two key challenges in achieving the benefits associated with the fast pace of urbanization: (i) managing the urban space and (ii) alleviating urban poverty.
About the Mission
To meet these challenges, the Government of India, in December 2005 launched ‘Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The programme aims to create economically productive, efficient, equitable and responsive cities. The Mission focuses on 65 cities through two mutually complimenting programmes, namely, sub-Mission I, ‘Urban Infrastructure and Governance’, and sub-Mission II, ‘Basic Services to the Urban Poor’. For the remaining cities and towns, similar schemes - ‘Urban Infrastructure Development Schemes in Small and Medium Towns’ and the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme’, are being implemented. The planned measures of JNNURM are wide-ranging in scope, their primary objective being:
>> Integrated and sustainable development of infrastructural services.
>> Planned development of cities, urban spatial planning.
>> Urban renewal, especially of old city centres,
>> Services for the urban poor, including the provision of adequate habitation, water and sewage services.
The Mission aims to establish an enabling environment for urban transformation through reforms and improvements in regulations, systems and processes; put in place mechanisms that will “incentivise” the flow of investment (from both public as well as private sources) in urban infrastructure and services; empower Urban Local Bodies to undertake the role envisioned for them under the Constitution; and, most importantly, safeguard the interests of the urban poor. JNNURM will act as a vehicle for accelerating the implementation of the 74th Amendment to the Constitution. The programme has been planned to operate on a mission mode by facilitating large scale investments in the urban sector, policy and institutional reforms, leading to sustainable socio-economic growth in the cities. The Government has committed to provide Rs. 50,000 crore (US$ 11 billion), for these investments, to qualifying ULBs over the seven year period.
Three and half years after its launch, the progress under the Mission is commendable. In terms of physical and financial achievements, under the component for Urban Infrastructure and Governance, the Mission has approved 463 projects amounting to Rs. 49,743 Crore ($11 billion), with an Additional Central Assistance (ACA) commitment of Rs. 23,543 Crore ($ 5.2 billion), till June 2009,.
The Mission is now firmly on track in terms of implementation after the initial teething problems and capacity issues. As on end of March ’09, over Rs. 9,100 Crore ($ 2 billion) worth of physical works in various projects have been implemented. The pace of implementation has significantly picked-up, with the utilization of funds having doubled in the last financial year, as compared to the previous year. Out of 463 sanctioned projects, 32 projects have been successfully completed and 68 projects are in fairly advanced stages of implementation1.
Benefits of JNNURM
In terms of the size of investment, population coverage and the broad-spectrum reforms that it seeks to put in place, JNNURM is the single largest Government initiative in the sphere of urban development. Since its inception, JNNURM has created a profound impact on urban landscapes nationwide through several reforms in infrastructure, urban services, and governance. It has also augmented the revenue stream of municipalities so as to encourage the suppliers of capital to change their ways of financing urban infrastructure and basic services to urban poor. Sector-wise and reform wise highlights of achievements so far are:
>> 20 cities will have improved road network, especially in newly developed areas
>> Will provide reliable quality and quantity of drinking water to the urban dwellers in 61 cities. By 2023, the benefit will reach to 2,062 lakh people;
>> Water supply provision to urban poor at subsidized rates;
>> Households in 34 cities to have better sewer networks and connectivity. By 2023, 1709 lakh people will be benefited ;
>> Extensive drainage network in 24 cities to mitigate flooding/water logging.1,456 lakh more people will get benefit by 2023;
>> Improved solid waste management system in 37 cities through “Door to door” collection of waste;
>> Improvements in transportation by introducing Bus Rapid Transit System in 9 cities;
>> Qualitative improvements in citizen centric programmes by introducing E governance systems in 11 cities;
>> Improved financial management in 23 cities by adopting Double Entry Accounting Systems;
>> Visakhapatnam, Nashik, Pune, Mumbai, Madurai have achieved 100 % cost recovery in Water Supply;
>> Fiscal improvements in 11 cities by achieving 85 % coverage in Property tax collection;
>> 40 cities have taken initiatives to encourage PPP in projects;
>> Citizens in 17 cities benefiting from the simplified Building Bye-Laws;
>> Simplified registration of land and property by introducing computerization in 12 cities
>> Enabling urban poor to access land by earmarking 20-25 Per Cent of Developed Land in all housing projects for EWS/LIG Category in 44 cities;
>> Computerized process for registration of Land and Property initiated in 12 cities;
>> Stamp duty has been reduced to 5% in Goa, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Puducherry;
>> Enhanced community participation in development programmes by enacting Community Participation Law in five states and Public Disclosure Law in 11 states.
*Inputs from the Ministry of Urban Development