Urbanisation is one of the government’s priorities, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday while presenting the Union Budget. He said the government has rolled out two interlinked programmes – Smart Cities Mission and the AMRUT.
In what is probably the last budget of the present government ahead of Lok Sabha polls next year, Jaitley said Smart Cities Mission aims at building 100 Smart Cities with state of-the-art amenities and that 99 cities have been selected with an outlay of Rs 2.04 lakh crore.
These cities have started implementing various projects like Smart Command and Control Centre, Smart Roads, Solar Rooftops, Intelligent Transport Systems and Smart Parks.
He said projects worth Rs 2350 crore have been completed and works of Rs 20,852 crore are under progress. To preserve and revitalise the soul of the heritage cities in India, National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) has been taken up in a major way.
The AMRUT programme focuses on providing water supply to all households in 500 cities, Jaitley said. State level plans of Rs 77,640 crore for 500 cities have been approved. Water supply contracts for 494 projects worth Rs 19,428 crore and sewerage work contract for 272 projects costing Rs 12,429 crore have been awarded.
Reforms are being catalyzed by these missions. Altogether 482 cities have started credit rating and 144 cities have got investment grade rating.
“My ministry will leverage the India Infrastructure Finance Corporation Limited (IIFCL) to help finance major infrastructure projects, including investments in educational and health infrastructure, on strategic and larger societal benefit considerations,” Jaitley said.