Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
13-December-2011 18:09 IST
National Conference on Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission

The 6th anniversary of the launch of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission was organized here today. The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, inaugurated the National Conference. Shri Kamal Nath, Urban Development Minister and Kumari Selja, Minister for Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation were also present on the occasion.

On the occasion, the Prime Minister announced the JnNURM Phase II. He said the next Phase should stress on the needs of raising internal revenues of local bodies, having a municipal cadre, building their capacities and making them professional, to ensure standards set by service level benchmarks, adequate arrangements to cope with increasing population and economic services. The Prime Minister mentioned that while the good examples and lessons learned from implementation of JnNURM have been greatly encouraging, there is a need to plan for urban habitats consistent with the aspirations of modern India. He pointed out that, as a result of growing urbanization, many cities are expected to expand at the periphery, with smaller municipalities and large villages surrounding the core cities becoming part of the metropolitan area. There is therefore an urgent need to focus on metropolitan planning, improving connectivity through better and larger networks of roads, expressways and highways, and placing increased emphasis on public transport in relation to affordable housing for the economically weaker sections of society. He stressed on the need for Master Plans to consider living and working conditions of the poor, and mentioned the launch of the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) earlier this year aimed towards slum redevelopment and creation of affordable housing stock by assisting States willing to assign property rights to slum dwellers.

He further stressed upon the urgent need of reforms and governance issues in ULBs. He also emphasized the urgency in addressing capacity gaps in urban local bodies through municipal cadres and training in urban planning, management and finance for improving governance, leveraging inputs from professionals, ugradation of existing urban planning institutions and establishment of new centres of excellence. He noted how e-governance and use of advanced technologies such as GIS, GPS and GPRS, IT applications and software packages could be used to improve public service delivery.

He mentioned that smaller cities need to be treated differently in terms of financing and reforms while public-private partnerships (PPP) should be encouraged in larger cities and metros. Citizen’s charter would ensure public-private-people’s partnership in urban service delivery. He also emphasized on the need to mainstream sustainability concerns in urban planning and project preparation processes by issuing appropriate bye-laws and regulations and incentivizing sustainable technologies and practices.

In the context of the next phase of JnNURM, he mentioned the need for an integrated and holistic approach towards regional development, with a focus on creation of enabling conditions for investment in urban India, livelihood creation in manufacturing and value-added service sectors, energy-efficient public transport, and more importantly, political will in all these focus areas.

In his address, Shri Kamal Nath, Urban Development Minister stated that States were largely responsible for pushing reforms through their larger vision for development He also mentioned that preparations of the next phase of JnNURM are underway and a committee has been made for this purpose which will largely draw from experiences learned from implementation in cities.

Kumari Selja, Minister for Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation while sharing the progress of housing projects under the Mission, mentioned the several challenges in implementation that include supply of litigation free land and high cost escalation due to increase in material prices. She mentioned that, beside the launch of Rajiv Awaas Yojana (RAY), HUPA is undertaking initiatives such as a Bank credit- credit risk guarantee fund with a corpus of INR 1000 cr, and enactment of the Real estate regulation and development bill in near future. She emphasized that urban development should focus on needs of the common man who constitutes 80% of the urban society.

The conference was also graced by Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission.

The Urban Development Minister was joined by Minister for Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Minister of State for Urban Development in giving awards to the best performing cities under JNNURM for the year 2010-11. Ministry of Urban Development awarded the cities of Pimpri-Chinchwad, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kanpur and Bengaluru, while the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation awarded State Governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and the cities of Imphal and Vijaywada for their performance under the Mission in the Year 2010-11.

Shri Saugata Roy, Minister of State for Urban Development, in his vote of thanks, highlighted the need to synergize transportation plans, infrastructure plans, and investment plans in a manner that the urban poor benefit the most.

The conference was well attended by the states & cities which were represented by the Ministers, Mayors, Secretaries, Municipal Commissioners, senior officials and elected representatives from the various States/UTs and Urban Local Bodies, and officials from government agencies.