AIR Spotlight - Smart Cities and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana

AIR Spotlight is an insightful programme featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panelists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in IAS exam preparation. In this article, the topic of discussion is the progress of the AMRUT scheme and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

Participants

  • Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry  of Housing.
  • Interviewer: AIR Correspondent Nasim Navi.

Context

Achievements of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and AMRUT mission have been discussed.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana 

Prime Minister (PM) of India Sri Narendra Modi in 2014, gave a call for housing for all by 2022. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana has contributed to this in a big way. The PM envisioned in 2014 that when India would be celebrating the 75th year of independence, everybody should have their own house, whether in rural or urban areas.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)

  • On 25th June 2015, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) was launched. 
  • A total of 1.12 cr houses were targeted to be constructed under this scheme. This is more ambitious than Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) under which 13.5 lakh houses had to be constructed, of which only 8 lakhs were actually constructed.
  • After 6 years, more than 1.12cr houses have been sanctioned to be constructed under  Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana  (Urban). 83 lakh houses have been constructed or are under construction and 43 lakh houses have been delivered to the beneficiaries.
  • The houses constructed also have electricity, water, and LPG connections. 
  • There are four verticals under the scheme:
    • Beneficiary-led construction – Beneficiary constructed a house on his own land with support from the government.
    • Affordable construction of houses on public land, which will then be distributed to beneficiaries. 
    • In situ slum development – Redevelopment of slums. The land of the slum is monetized and houses are constructed over them.
    • Credit linked subsidy scheme – The person chooses his own house and buys it and the government provides a subsidy on it. 
  • The scheme has been supported by states as well and beneficiaries are reaping its benefits. 

Progress of the scheme:

  • Due to a series of lockdowns, the deadline for the completion of the scheme was delayed. There was a loss of 8-9 months in 2020. The 2nd COVID wave further delayed the implementation of the scheme. 
  • However, the government is focusing on constructing 100 lakh houses at the earliest. Recently, the Ministry has launched 100 days of challenges to accelerate the construction. So, if not by 2022, then surely by 2023, all targets will be met, according to the Ministry.

Read more on the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in the link.

Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) Scheme

  • During the pandemic, the Affordable Rental Housing Complex scheme was launched to help the urban poor and migrants and to ensure that their living standards are not compromised. 
  • It is a sub-scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). The ARHC scheme is being implemented with an estimated expenditure of Rs. 600 crore. Initially, the ARHC scheme aims to cover around 3 lakh beneficiaries.

Progress of ARHC scheme:

  • This scheme has got immense support from the states.
  • More than 2500 people have benefited.
  • More than 80,000 houses have been committed by the PSUs and private sector companies. They are going to be utilized under the scheme.
  • This will help students, migrants who have not been able to return to their hometowns amid the lockdown.
  • Some of the houses constructed were also utilized as COVID facilities centres, and accommodations for migrants.

Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 

  • The AMRUT scheme was launched on 25th June 2015. Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) aims to cover around 500 cities that are having a population of over one lakh with notified municipalities. 
  • The main objectives of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) are mentioned below:
    • To ensure a proper supply of water and a sewage connection in every household. More than 30% of the sewage of 500 cities has been covered.
    • To develop green and well-maintained open spaces and parks to increase the amenity value of the cities.
    • To reduce pollution by switching to public transport or through the construction of non-motorized transport facilities such as walking and cycling.

Progress of AMRUT Scheme

  • Project outlay of the scheme was more than Rs. 78000 crore. More than Rs. 79,000 crore work has been grounded. More than Rs. 54,000 cr work has been completed.
  • Of the targeted 1.39 crore water taps to be installed under the scheme, 1.05 crore water taps have been installed. 
  • Of the targeted 1.45 crore sewer connections to be laid, 78 lakh sewer connections have been constructed. The delay is due to higher gestation time and COVID-related issues. By 2023, the target will be achieved.
  • 1800 parks have been constructed under the scheme on over 3000 acres of land. Work on 1200 parks is going on.
  • 88 lakhs of street lights have been converted into LED lights. It is saving 193 crore units of electricity per annum. Also, it reduces 15.4 lakh tonnes of CO2 emission.
  • There has been a marked reduction in the time period within which construction permits of buildings are issued. This has helped India to improve its ranking on ease of doing business released by the World Bank, from 186 in 2015 to 27 in 2020 in the construction permit segment.
  • Out of 4000 cities, 2465 cities have an online mechanism for issuing construction permits.
  • 50,000 municipal employees have been trained under this scheme.

Conclusion:

The achievements of these schemes are noteworthy. It is expected that India will soon realize the goal of providing affordable housing for all. At the same time, there will be substantial improvements in urban infrastructure.

Read more Gist of AIR Spotlight here.

AIR Spotlight – Smart Cities and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana:- Download PDF Here

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