It’s curtains for the UPA government’s flagship programme, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The new Union Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister (HUPA), M. Venkaiah Naidu, who assumed office on Wednesday, said a new mission would be launched soon in place of JNNURM.
The new mission would focus on the modern concept for cities based on GIS-based planning and would have solid and liquid waste management to develop clean cities, the Minister said.
As promised in the BJP manifesto, the Ministry will focus on initiating 100 new cities that will be enabled with the latest in technology and infrastructure. Mr. Naidu said the government’s priority would be urban uplift and quality public transport.
The government would strive to reduce the interest rate on home loans to ensure housing for all and give a fillip to low-cost housing. “Housing is a priority area and it is my passion. My priority will be to ensure housing for all by 2020 and to reduce interest rate on home loans.” He said corporates and municipal bodies should contribute to the mission.
“Our Prime Minister has a vision and we will give top priority to 100 smart new cities. There will be smart, safe and better environment, better facilities, better connectivity and better living conditions for people. That is the concept we are finalising,” he said.Twin cities
Pointing out that urban population was more than the rural growth and people were migrating to cities, the Minister said the government would explore the concept of twin cities.
“Within cities, it is important to provide drainage, better sanitation, waste management, water recycling and Wi-Fi facilities for public and commercial areas.” Infrastructure would be given a boost in satellite towns.
The new government would also focus on cleaning up cities to boost pilgrim tourism. “Cleanliness and sanitation programmes can be taken up in cities such as Ajmer, Amritsar, churches in Goa and Kerala, and thousands of temples in the country. Cleanliness is the need of the hour,” he said.