HRIDAY Scheme and Aims of the HRIDAY Urban Development Scheme

The HRIDAY Scheme for development of heritage cities was launched on 21st January 2015 to preserve and revitalise heritage cities of India to reflect their unique character. The HRIDAY Scheme aims to encourage the development of an aesthetically appealing, accessible, informative and secured environment in heritage cities. The HRIDAY Urban Development Scheme has been implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

HRIDAY Scheme Cities List

The following is the HRIDAY cities list:

  1. Ajmer
  2. Amravati
  3. Badami
  4. Gaya
  5. Mathura
  6. Puri
  7. Varanasi
  8. Velankanni
  9. Warangal
  10. Dwarka
  11. Kanchipuram
  12. Amritsar

The scheme is being implemented with quantifiable goals similar to the implementation of the Smart City Scheme on a mission mode. The following paragraphs would give more information on the HRIDAY Scheme relevant for UPSC 2019 prelims and mains exam.

HRIDAY Full Form

The full form of HRIDAY is Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana. The HRIDAY acronym has been chosen keeping in mind the goals of the scheme which is to preserve the soul of the heritage cities while augmenting their urban infrastructure. The following are the important points to remember about HRIDAY:

  • HRIDAY completed 4 years in January 2019 and has an outlay of funds pegged at Rs.685758 crore. The initially planned outlay was Rs 500 crore. Out of this projects worth about Rs 422 crore have been approved, and projects worth Rs 140. 14 crore have been completed.
  • The focus of HRIDAY is development of core heritage infrastructure by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for areas near heritage sites approved after identification by the Ministry of Culture.
  • Part of this focus is the development of infrastructure like approach roads, drainage, footpaths, electrical wiring, landscaping, sanitation, street lights, water supply, waste management and allied citizen services such as tourist conveniences, security etc.

Objectives of HRIDAY

The official HRIDAY Scheme statement sets out the following quantifiable goals for urban development in heritage cities:

  • Planning, developing and implementing infrastructure keeping in mind sensitivities of heritage,including service delivery and development of infrastructure in core areas of historic cities.
  • Preserve and renovate heritage so that tourists can connect with each heritage city’s unique nature.
  • Develop a heritage asset inventory of cities documenting built, cultural, living and natural heritage as a basis for urban planning, growth, planning of services and their delivery.
  • Enhancement of basic services focussing on sanitation like public toilets, water taps, security like street lights and in improving tourist facilities.
  • Create linkages between cultural facilities and tourism along with the conservation of heritage and capacity building of local industries based on heritage.
  • Adaptive maintenance of urban heritage, including rehabilitation using appropriate technology for retrofitting historic buildings with modern conveniences. Establishment of public-private partnership for preserving and maintaining historic buildings is also part of this goal.
  • Promotion of economic activities to enhance avenues of employment among people living in and around the heritage sites. This includes skill development among them and making public and cultural spaces accessible.
  • Making cities informative using modern ICT tools and making cities secure using modern security devices like CCTV etc.
  • Increase access to heritage sites by developing roads, adopting universal design, GIS mapping of historical locations and building a digital record of the heritage etc.

Urban development schemes like HRIDAY, AMRUT and Smart City Scheme are very important topics for the UPSC exam. These are part of the UPSC Syllabus for Prelims General Studies Paper I as well as General Studies in Mains.

Heritage preservation schemes like HRIDAY can be expected in UPSC 2019 due to having completed their initial plan period during 2019. The scheme’s scope also covers topics in Indian History & Culture, Governance, Social Justice and Economic Development from Mains General Studies Papers. Questions related to these schemes can also be framed for UPSC Essay and General Studies IV (ethics). Candidates should follow the latest developments in Current Affairs related to Urban Development Schemes for IAS exam 2019 so that no question comes as a surprise.

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