Centre starts preparing for post-lockdown urban services

Flagship missions are also contributing towards COVID-19 work, says Hardeep Singh Puri

Updated - April 29, 2020 07:30 am IST

Published - April 28, 2020 06:39 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. File

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. File

Officials of the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry were on Tuesday asked to start preparing the post-lockdown protocols for the various urban missions and services, including operation of Metro trains.

Housing and Urban Affairs Minister of State (independent charge) Hardeep Singh Puri reviewed the progress of the various urban missions, including the Smart Cities Mission, the Swachh Bharat and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), being implemented by the Ministry.

Also read: Coronavirus lockdown | Set out holistic plan for lockdown exit: Cong. to PM

Officers presented the status of the missions and were asked to prepare protocols, an official said. For instance, the officers were asked to have the protocols for re-starting Metro services ready, the official said.

After the meeting, Mr. Puri said in a tweet he had reviewed the progress of the flagship missions with the Secretary and senior officers.

“Happy to note that the missions are also contributing extensively towards COVID-19 related work along with their normal work and implementation of projects.” 

Also read: Coronavirus India lockdown Day 35 updates | April 28, 2020

Among the urban infrastructure pressed into service are the integrated command and control centres built as part of the Smart Cities Mission that are being used to monitor the spread of the pandemic and the response to it.

“Integrated Command & Control Centre in Agra Smart City has transformed into District Control Room for fight against COVID-19. It offers doorstep delivery of items of daily need, security services, detection of loitering, medical assistance & other services to citizens. (sic),” Mr. Puri said in a tweet.

Also read: Coronavirus | Lockdown ensured growth of cases remained linear, says government

While construction activities have been allowed with certain conditions, availability of workers has been hit as the lockdown led migrant workers to return to their hometowns or stuck in camps on the way. 

However, Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra said works under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) had started. 

“229 projects worth more than ₹27,000 crore have started/restarted under AMRUT with available local manpower in 10 States. All prescribed precautions for fighting COVID-19 are being observed. This will provide livelihood opportunities to those who have lost their jobs temporarily,” he said in a tweet after the meeting. 

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