The Union government on Monday announced Rs 800 crore grant to cities that can compete for 15 best projects in different areas including public open spaces, sustainable mobility, urban governance and organisational innovation in low-cost dwellings. In addition to this, the government would provide a grant of Rs 2 crore each for 25 cities which includes over six state capitals for planned urban expansion.
While launching the new schemes, Union Housing Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri said that the French lending agency, AFD, will offer an aid of approximately Rs 800 crore for the 15 best projects. The Central and State governments will equally share the repayment of the principal along with the interest. According to an official release, each project that is awarded will get a financial aid ranging from Rs 20-80 crore.
For the first time in India, any urban project will be chosen through challenge mode. The tenure of the programme will be three years till 2020-21 and the government will also offer Smart Cities fellowship and internship programmes thus, providing an opportunity to the youth to undergo different aspects of urban planning and governance.
Cities including Faridabad, Indore, Vadodara, Bengaluru, Chennai, Varanasi, Pune, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Shimla, Srinagar and Dehradun will get financial aid of Rs 2 crore each for developing the Local Area Plan (LAP) and Town Planning Scheme (TPS). Puri added that through these initiatives, emphasis will be laid on enabling planning for creating infrastructure in the already developed brownfield areas and the Greenfield areas on the periphery of the city that are vulnerable to unplanned development.
The LAPs will be formulated for the existing brownfield zones for their redevelopment while the Town Planning Schemes will be executed for planned urban growth in the outlying greenfield areas.
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