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Analysing the Government’s Urban Agenda

By May 6, 2019February 20th, 2024No Comments

Riding the wave of optimism post the general elections of 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government announced several urban development schemes to facilitate affordable housing and access to basic services.

The host of schemes launched included Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana–Urban [PMAY(U)], Smart Cities Mission (SCM), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Swachh Bharat Mission–Urban [SBM(U)], Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana–National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY–NULM) and the Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY).

Nearly five years since implementation, it is important to analyse the pace of implementation. To further this, Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA) recently launched the Parliamentary Watch Report 2018, which presents an analysis of the questions addressed to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and Ministry of Labour and Employment across three sessions in 2018.

The report closely looks at the kind of questions asked, along with important issues raised and status of implementation of different urban schemes. It is part of YUVA’s efforts to review and analyse parliamentary discussions on urban issues in each session. You can read the 2017 report here.

Overview of Major Findings

Some of the major findings of the report include:

  • At the launch of the PMAY(U), the Prime Minister had announced a target to build 2 crore houses. This target was eventually reduced by 50 per cent. However, only 12.58 lakh houses have been constructed till the fifth year of scheme implementation (which extends till 2022), representing a 12 per cent completion rate.
  • At the onset of the launch of SBM(U), the target set for construction of individual household latrines (IHHL) was INR 1.04 crore, which was subsequently revised based on assessment by states of current demand for toilets. The overall IHHL target is now 66.4 lakh which is nearly 36 per cent less than the initial estimate when the Mission was launched.
  • The AMRUT scheme is operational till May 2020, but till December 2018 only 2.9 per cent work has been completed, although 66.5 per cent projects are in the implementation stage. Tenders are being issued for 18.3 per cent projects while detailed project reports are being approved for 12.2 per cent projects.
  • The SCM aimed to achieve its set targets by 2020. However, gauging the pace of implementation this timeline has been extended to 2023. As on 30 November 2018, 31 per cent of the Government of India’s share of funds has been released to State Governments/UTs, out of which only 24 per cent has been utilised.
  • Despite the DAY–NULM being functional since 2013, there is a huge gap between the number of urban homeless and the capacity of shelters available in the country. As on 6 December 2018, 1,776 shelters have been sanctioned by 25 states/UTs, out of which 1,076 shelters are operational. Compared to the number of homeless population in urban cities, this number is abysmally low. The fact that out of the total number of shelters, only 20 shelters are for women is appalling.
  • As per the information provided by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the number of jobs generated in 2017–18 marked a dip of 30 per cent, compared to the previous year. In 2015–16, against the demand of 37 lakh jobs only 1.48 lakh job vacancies were created on the central government initated National Career Service portal. Similarly, in 2017–18, against the demand of 23 lakh jobs, only 9.21 lakh jobs were created. Such grim records indicate the situation of unemployment crisis in the country.

As the data indicates, the schemes for urban development are far from completion, and much still remains to be done. As the election season proceeds and further promises are made, it is important that we proceed with evidence-based knowedge to question and reinforce accountability from our elected representatives. Read the complete 2018 report here.

At the Parliamentary Watch Report 2018 launch

By Shaguna Kanwar (Project Coordinator — National Programmes) and Blog Editor

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