Modi-inspired Rurban Mission launched

A programme initiated by Narendra Modi during his tenure as Gujarat chief minister to provide urban amenities in rural areas is set to go national, with the Centre now re-launching it across the country.

Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday launched the Rurban Mission, named after Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh–the earlier incarnation of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Gadkari said that the government would initially spend Rs 100 crore on three projects in Warangal district of Telangana, and Sangli and Buldhana districts of Maharashtra. The three projects have been identified to be implemented this year.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earmarked Rs 100 crore for the new programme in the 2014-15 Union Budget. 

Gadkari said that the Rurban Mission would be modeled on the best practices of the PURA (Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas), which was launched by the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government in 2004-05, but achieved limited success.  

The new government has restructured the project with emphasis on linking the mission with e-governance and achieving the targets in a time bound manner. Gadkari said that the best practices of cooperatives, NGOs and other sectors could also be dovetailed into the scheme. During his tenure as chief minister, Modi had launched a Rurban project in Gujarat in 2011 to provide urban amenities in villages having more than 10,000 people.

Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram said the mission would help to minimise migration from rural to urban areas. He said that every state government should be asked to create a special purpose vehicle for effective implementation of the new mission.

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