New Urban India – UPSC GS1

Utility: Analysis of Urban schemes which can be used in answers related to Urbanisation or on direct questions on these schemes.
Context: Completion of six years of implementation of three major flagship missions of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs:
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban),
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and
  • Smart Cities Mission.
Common features of all three schemes:
  • Cooperative federalism: Each of the missions delegated the powers to appraise and approve projects to the states. Earlier, every project was appraised and approved in Delhi. This major step of building trust between the states and the Centre yielded results.
  • Constant monitoring for timely implementation: Through geo-tagging, the progress of construction of houses is being monitored and tied to the release of funds. For the first time, ISRO is helping government departments in the use of space technology tools.
  • All missions use GIS-based tools extensively.
  • To speed up construction and to bring in the best of new technologies, a Global Housing Technology Challenge was launched and based on it, six Lighthouse Projects have been identified in six geo-climatic zones of the country.
  • Money from the Centre is being released through the Public Financial Management System.
  • This electronic mode ensures that central funds seamlessly flow to the state treasury, improving efficiency and preventing fraud. This, along with Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), has ensured that the possibility of any middlemen duping the system and the beneficiary have been eliminated.
PMAY(U)
  • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Urban (PMAY-U) aims to construct 1.2 crore houses and ensure “Housing for All by 2022” by providing financial assistance to the beneficiaries.
  • It has four components:
    • In-situ Slum Redevelopment (ISSR),
    • Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP),
    • Beneficiary-led Individual house construction or Enhancement (BLC),
    • Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS).
  • Women empowerment: A house built under PMAY(U) is in the name of the woman of the household or joint ownership, and mandatorily has a toilet.
  • This encourages female empowerment and safeguards the dignity of the girl child.
  • Aadhaar ensures that every beneficiary gets the house for which he/she was registered. Biometrics ensures that. Hence, this helps the poor get their rightful government benefit.
AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation)
  • AMRUT addresses the weak civic infrastructure that plagues our urban local bodies (ULBs) — electricity, water supply, sewerage, etc.
  • States are willing to bear the excess expenditure. It covers 500 cities with a population of over one lakh.
  • The mission spans the entire spectrum of city governance, with a focus on the reforms.
  • The push for sustainable Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) is yielding results with 10 ULBs having already raised Rs 3,840 crore through municipal bonds. The push to strengthen ULBs is also being spearheaded through The Urban Learning Internship Programme (TULIP) in partnership with the Ministry of Education.
Smart Cities Mission
  • Smart cities are the future.
  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Integrated Command and Control Centres, which are already operational in more than 50 of the 100 smart cities, played a pivotal role in providing real-time information to enable health workers and city administrators in tracking the virus spread and in relief and rehabilitation work.