Highlighting the Central government’s endeavors to reshape the urban infrastructure under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri expressed that there has been a substantial increase in investments in the urban sector, surging from Rs 1,78,053 crore (during 2004-2014) to Rs 18,07,101 crore (from 2014 onwards). The Union Minister reiterated the indomitable will and resolve of the government towards the growth and development of the urban sector in India. The Minister was speaking at the launch of an updated e-booklet (2014-2023) titled, “Transforming Urban Landscape”.
Manoj Joshi, Secretary, of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs and senior officials of MOHUA also attended the event. The booklet launched by the Minister today encompasses the data/information on the progress of various schemes/ initiatives/ programmes/missions that aim towards the development of the urban landscape in India.
These Schemes/Missions include Swachh Bharat Mission- Urban (SBM-U), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Urban (PMAY), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Development (AMRUT), Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme and Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) among others.
While briefing the media during the event, Puri recalled a statement of PM Modi towards urban development which said, “We see urbanization as an opportunity and we are committed to make cities world-class urban spaces that further Ease of Living”. He said that in line with the vision of the Prime Minister, the Government has utilized the opportunity to transform the Urban sector in the last nine years. He emphasized that this sector was neglected previously.
He said that the country is on the path to becoming the world’s second-largest metro network system. The Minister highlighted the progress made under the Sawachh Bharat Mission(U). He articulated that the mission has led to 100 per cent access to toilets with the construction of 67.10 lakh Household Toilets and 6.52 lakh Community and public Toilet Seats.
The mission has led to a four-fold increase in waste processing from 18 per cent in 2014 to 75.20 per cent in 2023. Segregation and door-to-door collection of Municipal Solid Waste has also witnessed a remarkable increase as a result of efforts done under SBM-U.
Drawing attention to the achievements under PMAY-U, Puri informed that so far, the scheme has achieved a milestone of sanctioning 1.19 crore houses. More than 113 lakh houses have been grounded for construction of which, 76.34 lakh have been completed and delivered to the beneficiaries. He highlighted that the mission promotes women’s empowerment by providing the title of houses in the name of female members or in the joint name.
More than 94 lakh houses under PMAY-U are in the name of women or joint ownership. He further added that the Government is using the latest technologies to build the projects/houses under PMAY-U. A total of 54 new technologies have been identified through a Global Challenge process and these are used in the construction of various Light House Projects.
Referring to the outcomes of various initiatives undertaken towards strengthening of Urban Transport, the Housing & Urban Affairs Minister said that today about 872 kms of metro lines are operational in 20 different cities namely, Delhi & 7 NCR cities, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Nagpur, Kanpur and Pune with an average daily ridership of 85 Lakhs.
Further, about 988 Kms of metro rail projects (including Delhi-Meerut RRTS) are under construction in various cities across the country namely Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Pune, Kanpur, Agra, Bhopal, Indore, Patna, Surat and Meerut.
He also mentioned “PM-eBus Sewa”, a scheme recently approved by the cabinet for augmenting city bus operation by 10,000 e-buses on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.