Naidu welcomes urban convergence drive

New Delhi, Aug 30 : Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu has welcomed the government’s efforts to promote urban convergence through the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and AMRUT.

Lauding the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation for coming out with a list of 305 cities and towns for building houses for the urban poor, Naidu said, “I am delighted at this convergence. This clearly shows the importance being accorded by the states for convergence of new urban development schemes through right prioritization in selection of cities and towns resulting in this convergence.”

“This enables efficient utilization of resources of both the central and state governments’ resources through pooling which should give better results,” He added.

Describing it as a good beginning towards addressing urban sector challenges, Naidu said, states must endeavor to pool resources to provide for assured electricity supply, health and education and for enhancing the quality of urban life across the country.

The urban development ministry has identified 482 cities and towns, each with a population of one lakh and above as Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) cities for ensuring basic infrastructure like water connections to all urban households, sewer connections and seepage management, storm water drains, urban transport etc.

Nine states have identified 305 housing cities and towns, also account for 26 of the 99 smart cities (including either Jammu or Srinagar) and 136 of 482 AMRUT cities and towns as well.

Of these, urban poor housing projects will be taken up in 25 smart cities and 123 AMRUT cities bringing our clear convergence that enables pooling of funds and integration of action plans. Affordable housing is an integral part of smart city initiative which focuses on inclusive development.

Twenty five of the 26 smart cities in these 9 states are also covered under AMRUT and Housing missions as well and 123 AMRUT cities under housing mission.

Eleven of the 30 Amrut cities of Bolad, Godhra, Goudal, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Nadiad, Morvi, Palanpur, Porbandar, Veravel and Surendranagar-Dudhrej, Adityapur in Jhankhand and Dewas in MP are still to be included in the housing list. (ANI)