UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 05 March 2022

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What’s the article is about?

The article briefly talks about the urban development schemes, implementation issues.

Syllabus: GS1,2 urbanization.

Data:

  • As per UNDESA, India hosts more than 40% of its population in cities by 2050. 
  • Increase of 4% of the budget to urban ministry in 2022-23 when compared with last year.
  • ULB is fiscally dependent on states for greater than 50% of revenue.
  • SDGs Goal 11 promotes urban planning as one of the tools to achieve sustainable development.

Urbanization schemes and features:

  1. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U)
    • In 2012, the urban housing shortage was estimated at 1.9 crore houses. PMAY­U seeks to achieve the 'Housing for All’ target in urban areas by 2022.
    • In 2012, it was estimated that economically weaker sections (EWS) and low-income groups (LIGs) accounted for 96 percent of the total housing shortage in India.
  2. Urban metro transport in order to ease the transposition and communication challenges.
  3. Smart cities' mission
    • To integrate city functions, utilize scarce resources more efficiently, and improve the quality of life of citizens.
    • Launched in 2015, seeks to promote 100 smart cities having core infrastructure (such as water, electricity supply, sanitation, and public transport) through financial support (average ₹100 crores per city per annum) for five years

Challenges in urban development:

  • Delay: As of February 2022, 1.14 crore houses have been sanctioned under the PMAY, of which, 48 percent have been completed.
  • Inadequate finance and capabilities to ULB’s
  • Beneficiaries: The Standing Committee observed that in several states including Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Jharkhand, most of the beneficiaries receiving subsidies under PMAY belong to middle-income groups
  • Inefficiency: The report also noted a consistent increase in the operating cost ratio from 49 percent in 2011-12 to 81 percent in 2019-20, indicating the inefficient operational performance of Delhi Metro.
  • Irregularities in the implementation of the Smarty city mission include the frequent dropping of projects after finalizing proposals, redoing of the same work, and project costs being higher than the market rate.  

Measures needed:

  1. New Approaches for Urbanization: Build sustainable, robust, and inclusive infrastructure by including a bottom-up approach.
  2. Improving Access to Health Facilities & Welfare Schemes
  3. Improving the capacity of ULBs by providing technical assistance to States and ULBs in planning, financing, monitoring, and operation of programs. 

Finance Minister acknowledged the need for a paradigm change in urban planning. She announced that a high level committee of urban planners, economists, and institutions will be formed to make recommendations on urban sector policies, capacity building, planning, and governance.

 



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