SMART INDIA MISSION GETS A GREEN SIGNAL BY MODI
The words Smart Cities, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Housing for All were surrounding our eyes and ears for over a year now with lots of questions arising with it whether this will go down in the history books as just a dream or reality. Marking a major initiative for the urban development and revolution in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finally launched the Smart Cities mission, AMRUT and Housing for All; keeping on track with his promise to the nation to bring a transformation in life of every citizen of the country and to put India on the global map as the most rapidly developing country.
The core objective behind these three schemes launched by Modi is to develop Indian cities and towns as new engines of growth. “The promise of Acche Din by the government was not just a mere statement as now we see the momentum gaining pace. Smart cities, AMRUT and Housing for all schemes will not only ensure a shelter to every household but will guarantee transformation of their lifestyles which is crucial to overall development of the country. With these schemes now launched, there will be an upsurge of job opportunities, sound infrastructure and basic civic setup for each city which is most significant for urbanisation to take place”, says Mr. Deepak Kapoor, President CREDAI Western U.P. & Director, Gulshan Homz. The three big ticket projects – Smart Cities mission, AMRUT and Housing for all are now named as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) and is worth Rs. 4 lakh crore approx..
The Smart City and AMRUT projects will draw Rs. 48,000 crores and Rs. 50,000 crores respectively, in central grants over the next five years. Housing for all by 2022 plan will see a government expenditure of about Rs. 3 lakh crores during the next 7 seven years which is aimed at constructing 2 crore affordable houses in urban areas for slum dwellers and people falling under Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Lower income Groups (LIG). Under the housing scheme, interest subsidy of 6.5 percent on housing loans with tenure upto 15 years will be provided to EWS and LIGs, offering them a benefit of about Rs. 2.3 lakhs. For AMRUT, 500 cities having a population of 1 lakh or more will be chosen for this project. Speaking about the major affect that these plans will have, Mr. Praveen Tyagi, CMD, VVIP states “The AMRUT plan aims at urbanisation of 500 cities whereas the Smart Cities plan is targeted to enhance the quality of life of 100 identified cities and towns which will be confirmed by superior infrastructure, smart living through smart features, better services at disposal and a clean, green and much sustainable environment for the population. Housing for all scheme will act as a perfect catalyst here by enhancing the purchasing power of EWS and LIGs by reducing their burden through decreasing home loan amounts”.
Along with the launch of three schemes, PM also unveiled the criteria and guidelines for the smart cities and other schemes apart from releasing operational guidelines for the three urban missions, unveiling logos and tag lines. Modi also stated that neither the centre nor the states will have any discretion in choosing 100 cities through a competition for smart cities scheme. The launch event is to be followed by a 2 day workshop where over 1000 mayors, municipal heads, ministers concerned from states and their chief secretaries will take part. Uttar Pradesh is ready to lead the pack here with the opportunity to nominate 13 cities to be developed as smart cities and 54 cities identified under the AMRUT scheme. “Uttar Pradesh is one of the largest states of India with a major scope of development available here thus, 13 cities identified as smart cities and 54 cities for AMRUT scheme will mean that UP will get the most out this Smart India mission. Overall, the plan looks very well laid down with proper distribution of funds planned for Smart cities mission, AMRUT and Housing for all as well. With the three most important schemes now underway, India is now on a path of smart development”, says Mr. Ashok Gupta, CMD, Ajnara India Ltd.
After UP, Tamil Nadu is placed at second position with 12 smart cities and 33 AMRUT cities being allotted. Maharashtra has been selected for 10 smart cities and 37 AMRUT cities with Gujarat and Karnataka are eligible for 6 smart cities each and 31 & 21 AMRUT cities respectively. Delhi has been allotted one smart and AMRUT city. As per the criteria finalised by the government for the smart cities project, West Bengal and Rajasthan get to nominate 4 cities a piece with Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab for 3 cities; Odisha, Haryana, Telangana and Chhatisgarh two cities; and J & K, Kerela, Jharkhand, Assam, Himachal, Goa, Arunachal and Chandigarh, one city each. Likewise, for the AMRUT scheme, 31 cities have been identified in Andhra Pradesh, 30 for Rajasthan, 28 in West Bengal, 27 in Bihar, 19 in Odisha and Haryana, 18 in Kerala, 17 in Punjab, 15 in Telangana and 10 in Chhatisgarh. Mr. Kushagr Ansal, Director, Ansal Housing says “The much awaited dream of transforming India is finally turning into a reality. It is imperative to understand that these 3 projects are forming a hierarchy of necessity for our country. Housing for all is the base, as it crucial to first make sure that everyone gets a roof over their head. In the middle will be the AMRUT plan as, rejuvenation and urban transformation is a need to move further towards smart living and get over from basic living. Finally, the cities that already meet the basic requirement are now looked upon to be made ready for the next level infrastructure”.
Moving ahead, now since the plan is underway the government will be doing its bit to develop the next level infrastructure for the country, but it will require most assistance from the private players of the country along with FDI. “The plan to develop 100 smart and 500 AMRUT cities will not succeed until the entire nation stands as one unit. The public private partnership model will best fit here as now there will be an immense requirement of quality infrastructure and smart facilities. The Indian real estate market which was experiencing a sluggish growth for many years now is greatly welcoming this move as the government’s budget outlay for PMAY of Rs. 4 lakh crores is expected to be invested into the Indian real estate sector directly or indirectly and that also at a national level”, states Mr. Rupesh Gupta, Director, JM Housing. Adding to the view, Mr. Rajesh Goyal, Vice President CREDAI Western UP & MD, RG Group says “The idea of spruce urban spaces through 100 Smart Cities and AMRUT to adjust the burgeoning number of people have been pivotal to Modi’s visionary election manifesto from the beginning. Finally, Union Cabinet cleared the projects and has allocated gargantuan amount for the twin projects. FDI allured by these projects and efficient allocation and execution of the same can change the face of urban lifestyle in India as well as will propel much needed liquidity in the economy”.
The three projects launched today are interdependent and has a common vision of developing the nation and its people. “Job opportunities for all, homes to everyone, smart features, better lifestyle, superior infrastructure, higher GDP, more FDI and increasing HDI will be a few common phenomenon that we will all witness in the upcoming 5 to 7 years in India. We are on a road to develop better and develop smart thereby ensuring an overall development of the economy and its people. Now since these 3 projects have got a green signal, the markets and industries will see a major boost as now there is a lot of work in hand for everyone”, concludes Mr. Prithvi Raj Kasana, MD, Morpheus Group.