The Economy Survey 2011-12 has emphasised the need for a massive stepping up of investments in urban infrastructure to take care of the growing needs of cities and towns.

The investment from the base year (2011-12) of about Rs. 51,000 crore would have to be stepped up at 15 per cent per annum during the 12th Plan, tapering off to 12 per cent during 13th Plan and eight per cent thereafter.

Noting that urban population is projected to increase to about 40 per cent from 31 per cent now, the pre-budget policy document points out: “At present, only 74 per cent of the urban population is supplied piped water, less than two-thirds of the urban population in class I and II towns are connected to the sewer system, scientific treatment and disposal of solid waste is practically non-existent, and public transport accounts for only 22 per cent of urban transport in the country.”

Urban local bodies should take recourse to new forms of financing through public-private partnership and be able to mobilise internal resources, apart from devolution from the States' revenue share and Central and State funds made available for various schemes.

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