UPA flagship JNNURM to be replaced

Govt proposes 100 smart cities under new scheme

UPA flagship  JNNURM to be replaced

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), which the Narendra Modi government has decided to replace, would emerge in its new avatar with a specific focus on developing planned cities based on scientific GIS (geographic information system). 

The urban development ministry is planning to spend Rs 1.5 lakh crore in 10 years to renew major urban centres in the country, while bulk of the earmarked sum would be spent to create 100 smart cities. 

“The smart cities will focus on efficient and integrated solid and liquid waste management, integration of public transport to integrate existing cities with identified satellite and twin cities”, top sources in the Ministry told Deccan Herald.

Unlike the JNNURM, in which projects were given to each state, the new scheme will not be state-specific. Under the new scheme, states will be granted funds on first-come-first-serve basis and will be encouraged to develop cities on the public-private partnership, sources said. The proposed outlay for the scheme is more than double the sum allocated for the JNNURM, UPA’s flagship programme between 2005-12, that focused on planned development in the cities. The programme sanctioned projects related to transportation, water supply, sewage etc, but the JNNURM came under criticism for its failure to delivered required outcome. 

The below-par finish rate is one of many reasons for scrapping the scheme, which has come to an end on March 31, 2014 after being launched in 2007. In fact, out of 1,339 projects sanctioned in the seven-year period, a mere 670 were completed, just 51 per cent of the total sanctioned projects. 

A source said the urban development ministry has already sanctioned Rs 32,819 crore for these projects.

Many of the JNNURM projects faced severe roadblocks due to delay in land acquisition, public agitation, change of site, encroachments, inability to obtain statutory clearances from defence, railway and environment and forest ministries, besides court cases.
 The new programme would avoid mistakes made in JNNURM and will be designed in accordance with the government’s vision, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said soon after taking charge of the ministry. 

Under the new mission, the government has plans to develop waterways, including plans to acquire boats and setting up rope-ways in hilly towns.

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