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PM review urban governance

Manmohan on Saturday asked state Govts to pay greater attention to the urban governance reforms and modernisation of infrastructure in cities, reports Aloke Tikku.

india Updated: Jun 16, 2007 17:53 IST
Aloke Tikku

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday asked state governments to pay greater attention to the urban governance reforms and modernisation of infrastructure in cities.

Singh’s comments came at a meeting to review the progress of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission where he also asked states to work towards modernisation of urban infrastructure, with special focus on the lives of the urban poor.

“The Prime Minister assured the meeting that adequate financial resources will be made available provided the commitments undertaken are fulfilled,” an official statement said.

Nearly 28 per cent of India’s population at the 2001 headcount were living in cities, a proportion expected to rise to 40 per cent by 2021. In another four years, it is estimated urban areas would contribute 65 per cent of the gross domestic product if inadequate infrastructure does not come in the way.

Singh had launched JNNURM in December 2005 as a massive effort to improve urban infrastructure services. Urban development minister Jaipal Reddy had earlier informed the prime minister that some states had taken initiatives to implement programmes.

Of the sixty-three cities that have prepared city development plans, six cities - Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara, Vijayawada and Vishakapatnam - covered by the programme will now have 100 per cent water supply. Four cities - Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat and Vijayawada - will be fully covered by modern sewerage systems.

Four cities - Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow and Rajkot - will have systems for collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of wastes and six cities - Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Indore, Pune, Thane and Vijayawada - will have improved Bus Rapid Transit Systems.

In the North East, four cities - Aizwal, Gangtok, Itanagar and Shillong - will have municipal bodies. Other cities, Reddy said, are moving forward to fulfill the basic conditions for local bodies to benefit from the scheme. As part of this step forward, 33 cities have implemented e-governance reforms, 40 have earmarked funds for services to urban poor and 19 cities achieved coverage efficiency in property tax collection in excess of 85 per cent.