Funds Underutilised, Parliamentary Panel Asks Housing Ministry To Get Its Act Together
The Central government had brought in a fresh zeal among stakeholders and citizens when it launched and relaunched some developmental projects. The Smart Cities Mission, the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), the Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), the National Urban Livelihood Mission and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) are some of the well-known government projects today. Despite the volume of funds that these projects have received so far, the underutilisation has been evident. This has not gone unnoticed by the Parliamentary Panel that recently pulled up the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry to “get its act together and identify problematic areas” and put the funds to the right use.
Rs 12,447 crore
Rs 9,943.22 crore
Swachh Bharat Mission
Rs 5,847.92 crore
Rs 2,223.22 crore
Rs. 29,043 crore
Rs 2,080.52 crore
Rs. 421.47 crore
Rs 241.26 crore
On an average, the government of India spends Rs 3 trillion on developmental projects. Unspent funds across sectors have been a massive concern. Take for example the Smart Cities Mission where fund utilisation was the lowest at only 1.82 per cent despite all the energy around it.
Here’s a look at the agendas laid out for these project recently:
AMRUT’s prime goals include ensuring that every household has access to a tap with assured supply of water and a sewerage connection, increasing the amenity value of cities by developing greenery and well maintained open spaces, reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorised transport (e.g. walking and cycling).
Among the recent endeavours laid out include developing Panaji. The state has designated Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Ltd, a wholly government-owned special purpose vehicle, as the state mission directorate for AMRUT and state mission management unit for the Smart City Mission.
The other milestones for AMRUT include development of e-governance facilities, professionalisation of the municipal cadre, preparation of master plan using GIS, action plans to progressively increase green cover in cities to 15 per cent in five years, develop children’s park in every AMRUT city.
Smart Cities Mission
Not just India, other countries are also willing to contribute in the making of smart cities in India. According to latest reports, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Housing Ministry and GIZ, a German development agency that would help plan sustainable urban development. GIZ would contribute up to €8 million for the project which would run for a period of three years.
Meanwhile Finnish minister for the Environment, Energy and Housing, Kimmo Tiilikainen said that Finnish companies do see big business opportunities in India and the renewable energy sector.
Swachh Bharat Mission
According to the government’s website, 1,827 cities in India have been declared open defecation free. It also claims that across the country, 2,92,030 community and public toilets and 44,56,03 individual toilets have been constructed. On the whole, the Prime Minister has been calling in for mass participation.
There is constant supervision as well with Swachh Survekshan in place.
Not just homes, quality is also being monitored. According to sources, 45,711 houses that have been built under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) will undergo tough quality tests as there have been complaints that these houses are not safe and might be risky for the living. The Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee created for the Prime Minister’s housing scheme will monitor all the projects while units under PMAY will be geotagged.
With inputs from Housing News