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Urban Development Schemes in India: An Overview

The last few decades have seen rapid urbanisation in India with the emergence of many Tier-II and Tier-III cities rising as promising destinations for living and work. This growth has been in part due to the breakneck economic growth of the nation and partly due to the rapid urban development schemes implemented by various governments since the turn of the millennium. The idea behind these policies is two-fold:

  • create more urban agglomerations across the country to facilitate migration of people from rural areas in search for better living opportunities, and
  • upgrade the existing urban regions and metropolises in terms of infrastructure and better standards of living

According to the World Economic Forum, 5-6 million migrants move to emerging urban zones in India annually. In order to sustain such a mass resettlement of people and further incentivise migration to newer areas, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has taken concrete steps in affordable housing, transportation, infrastructure, environment, sanitation, health-care, education, etc. Together, it is schemes such as the ones mentioned below that make a 2 BHK flat for sale in Thane or an affordable apartment in Navi Mumbai, a lucrative option for both the migrants and locals.

1. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Housing For All

Launched in 2015, the ‘Housing For All’ scheme is one of the most promising centrally-sponsored initiatives by the government in terms of providing a roof over every individual and family that is part of the our ever growing population. Under this scheme, states are assisting people and groups from Low Income Groups (LIGs), Middle Income Groups (MIGs) and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of society own their homes by building / fostering the development of 20 million affordable homes by 2022. Another key provision in the PMAY scheme is that the government will provide a 6.5% interest subsidy on housing loans to beneficiaries for a period of 20 years under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS).

2. Smart Cities Mission

The government launched this scheme in 2015 with the aim of building 100 smart cities and rejuvenating 500 existing cities across the country by enabling them with technology. The salient features of such smart cities would include sustainable infrastructure and urbanisation, digitisation, world-class communication and transport systems, IT accessibility, e-governance, excellent industrial and employment infrastructure, and high quality civic amenities.

3. National Urban Transport Policy

Transport and transit is the backbone of every city, especially India’s metropolises with large population densities. A homebuyer would, for example, only consider a resale flat in Thane East if the locality is well connected by road and rail. The National Urban Transport Policy takes care of exactly that since it places a great emphasis on intelligent and pollution-free public transport systems in the urban planning stage, while also providing central financial assistance for its implementation.

4. National Urban Livelihoods Mission

This scheme was introduced by the government in 2013 with a view to promote livelihoods in order to alleviate the poverty issues plaguing urban poor households. So far, the scheme has gone live in 790 cities nationwide and provides self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities to the target groups.

5. Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban

The famous nationwide sanitation and cleanliness programme was launched in 2014 with the aim of eliminating open defecation practices, constructing universal toilets, collecting and processing 100% municipal solid waste and promoting healthy sanitation practices.

6. Atal Mission for Renewal and Urban Transformation

As a key scheme that follows closely on the heels of the Swachh Bharat Mission, AMRUT was launched in 2015 in order to improve the sanitation, sewage and water supply facilities across 500 cities. The budget allocated for AMRUT is around US$14 billion.

With these promising urban development schemes in place, India and its citizens can look forward to higher living standards that complement India’s tag as one of the fastest growing and vibrant nations in the world.

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