Govt looks set to finalise framework for the incubation of eight new cities

Last year, the Commission created the provision while acknowledging the problem of inadequate housing and infrastructure facilities in cities due to urbanisation.
The right states, which will be selected through a competition based process,will receive a total funding of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span> 8,000 crore, as per the 15th Finance Commission report. (Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)
The right states, which will be selected through a competition based process,will receive a total funding of 8,000 crore, as per the 15th Finance Commission report. (Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 21, 2022 08:23 PM IST
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ByRisha Chitlangia

New Delhi: India will finalise a framework to incubate new cities in eight states based on ease of living, affordability and sustainable development by March, an official of the housing and urban affairs ministry said recently. The right states, which will be selected through a competition based process,will receive a total funding of 8,000 crore, as per the 15th Finance Commission report.

Last year, the Commission created the provision while acknowledging the problem of inadequate housing and infrastructure facilities in cities due to urbanisation.

“The ministry has constituted an expert committee, including independent domain experts, to prepare the terms of reference (ToR),” the official said, requesting anonymity. “We will finalise the ToR by March and plan to share it with the state governments by April for them to prepare the proposals.”

The 15th Finance Commission last year created a provision for a performance-based challenge fund of 8,000 crore to incubate new cities in eight states on pilot basis to address the problem of inadequate housing and infrastructure facilities in the country due to rapid urbanisation.

The expert panel will specify the minimum eligibility conditions to compete for the award, the official said. It will also work out the bidding parameters through which the top eight applicants or states will be selected.

Sustainable development, affordability and ease of living will be some of the key parameters based on which these cities will be developed.

“The new developments should focus on transit- oriented development, walkability, sustainability, etc. The ToR will also include the aspect about financial viability of the new developments,” the official said.

The 15th Finance Commission in its report had said that India needs to rejuvenate old cities as well as establish new ones. While acknowledging problems related to land acquisition and rehabilitation in new projects, it said: “The challenge of setting up infrastructure, such as laying of roads, water and sewer lines and provision of sites for schools and colleges and parks in greenfield cities can be less daunting than the problem of setting up such facilities in old established cities.”

Of the 8,000 crore, each of the eight states will get a 1,000 crore grant to set up one new city.

As per the timeline provided by the commission, the ministry will have to invite the bids from states for the challenge by September and announce the winners by the end of the year. The commission had recommended that the first tranche of the grants should be released by March 31, 2023.The expert committee should indicate how progress of the project should be evaluated vis-à-vis specified benchmarks for release of subsequent tranches, as per the report.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022