JnNURM to cover several new cities

JnNURM to cover several new cities

Investment to be upped to Rs 2 lakh cr

The Centre is working on a new Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) that will see more cities covered by the infrastructure improvement project, with a massive hike in investment.

The Union Urban Development Ministry has started working on the new modified scheme, as the current JnNURM scheme launched in December  2005 will end on March 2012.

The thrust areas of the new scheme, which will receive increased investment — nearly 75 per cent more than the phase ending —  will be development of slums, accessibility to basic public services such as drinking water, sewerage, solid waste management, roads and street lights to all, including the poor and focussing on urban planning.

The scheme will also emphasis better governance, including setting up an urban utility regulator, use of e-governance, setting up Indian Institutes of Urban Management in different places of the country, allowing urban local bodies to impose “exclusive” taxes, introducing parking fee to enhance revenue streams and promote the use of public transport and collecting trade licencing fee on the basis of a self-assessment return.

Planning Commission member Arun Maria, who held a discussion with various stake holders on the new scheme recently, has constituted a working group under Secretary, Urban Development, to prepare a blueprint for the proposal, sources in the Planning Commission told Deccan Herald.  The current number of cities covered by JnNURM, 63, will go up and the list will include smaller ones spread across the country.

Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath said that as the urban areas are expected to grow further, the new scheme would cover areas not covered by the first JnNURM launched by UPA I.

Under the new scheme, the government is planning to invest over Rs 2 lakh crore which is much higher than the current scheme which is around Rs 1.2 lakh crore. The new mission programme will give thrust to areas identified by the High Powered Expert Committee (HPEC) for estimating the investment requirements for urban infrastructure services.

The existing scheme spans a whole range of works, including drainage, roads, flyovers, water supply, mass rapid transport system, solid waste management, housing and preservation of water bodies. Currently, the Centre bears 50 per cent for each project, while states have to pay the rest.

The Centre is consulting with the States about modalities of funding and sharing of expenditure.

What is JnNURM?

* Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission is a Centre-State programme to upgrade infrastructure in cities
* Launched in 2005, its first phase ends in March 2012
* It is implemented in 65 cities
* It envisages development of slums, accessibility to drinking water, sewerage, solid waste management, roads, and street lights to all
* Investment in the first phase was Rs 1,20,000 crore which will be raised to Rs 2,00,000 crore in the next