Providing basic services (e.g. water supply, sewerage, urban transport) to households and build amenities in cities which will improve the quality of life for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged is a national priority. An estimate of the funds required over a 20 year period, at 2009-10 prices, was made by the High Powered Expert Committee (HPEC) during 2011. The Committee estimated that Rs. 39.2 lakh crore was required for creation of urban infrastructure, including Rs. 17.3 lakh crore for urban roads and Rs. 8 lakh crore for services, such as water supply, sewerage, solid waste management and storm water drains. Moreover, the requirement for Operation and Maintenance (O&M) was separately estimated to be Rs. 19.9 lakh crore.
Learnings from the earlier Mission have shown that infrastructure creation should have a direct impact on the real needs of people, such as providing taps and toilet connections to all households. This means that the focus should be on infrastructure creation that has a direct link to provision of better services to people and this was explicitly stated by the President of India in his speeches to the Joint Sessions of the Parliament on 9 June, 2014 and 23 February, 2015.
Therefore, the purpose of Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) is to (i) ensure that every household has access to a tap with assured supply of water and a sewerage connection; (ii) increase the amenity value of cities by developing greenery and well maintained open spaces (e.g. parks); and (iii) reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorized transport (e.g. walking and cycling). All these outcomes are valued by citizens, particularly women, and indicators and standards have been prescribed by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) in the form of Service Level Benchmarks (SLBs).
However, the pursuit of better outcomes will not stop with the provision of taps and sewerage connections to all (universal coverage). Other benchmarks will be targeted following a step-by-step process after achieving the benchmark of universal coverage. Such a gradual process of achieving benchmarks is called “incrementalism”. This does not mean that other SLBs are less important, but that in the incremental process SLBs are achieved gradually according to National Priorities. In the case of urban transport the benchmark will be to reduce pollution in cities while construction and maintenance of storm water drains is expected to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, flooding in cities, thereby making cities resilient.
Earlier, the MoUD used to give project-by-project sanctions. In the AMRUT this has been replaced by approval of the State Annual Action Plan once a year by the MoUD and the States have to give project sanctions and approval at their end. In this way, the AMRUT makes States equal partners in planning and implementation of projects, thus actualizing the spirit of cooperative federalism. A sound institutional structure is the foundation to make Missions successful. Therefore, Capacity Building and a set of Reforms have been included in the Mission. Reforms will lead to improvement in service delivery, mobilization of resources and making municipal functioning more transparent and functionaries more accountable, while Capacity Building will empower municipal functionaries and lead to timely completion of projects.
The Mission will focus on the following Thrust Areas:
i. Water Supply,
ii. Sewerage facilities and septage management,
iii. Storm Water drains to reduce flooding,
iv. Pedestrian, non-motorized and public transport facilities, parking spaces, and
v. Enhancing amenity value of cities by creating and upgrading green spaces, parks and recreation centers, especially for children.
Five hundred cities will be taken up under AMRUT. The list of cities will be notified at the appropriate time. The category of cities that will be covered in the AMRUT is given below:
i. All Cities and Towns with a population of over one lakh with notified Municipalities, including Cantonment Boards (Civilian areas),
ii. All Capital Cities/Towns of States/ UTs, not covered in above , iii. All Cities/ Towns classified as Heritage Cities by MoUD under the HRIDAY Scheme,
iv. Thirteen Cities and Towns on the stem of the main rivers with a population above 75,000 and less than 1 lakh, and
v. Ten Cities from hill states, islands and tourist destinations (not more than one from each State).
Click for : List of Cities covered by AMRUT
The components of the AMRUT consist of capacity building, reform implementation, water supply, sewerage and septage management, storm water drainage, urban transport and development of green spaces and parks. During the process of planning, the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) will strive to include some smart features in the physical infrastructure components. The details of the Mission components are given below.
i. Water supply systems including augmentation of existing water supply, water treatment plants and universal metering.
ii. Rehabilitation of old water supply systems, including treatment plants.
iii. Rejuvenation of water bodies specifically for drinking water supply and recharging of ground water. iv. Special water supply arrangement for difficult areas, hill and coastal cities, including those having water quality problems (e.g. arsenic, fluoride)
i. Decentralised, networked underground sewerage systems, including augmentation of existing sewerage systems and sewage treatment plants.
ii. Rehabilitation of old sewerage system and treatment plants.
iii. Recycling of water for beneficial purposes and reuse of wastewater.
i. Faecal Sludge Management- cleaning, transportation and treatment in a costeffective manner.
ii. Mechanical and Biological cleaning of sewers and septic tanks and recovery of operational cost in full.
Storm Water Drainage
i. Construction and improvement of drains and storm water drains in order to reduce and eliminate flooding.
i. Ferry vessels for inland waterways (excluding port/bay infrastructure) and buses.
ii. Footpaths/ walkways, sidewalks, foot over-bridges and facilities for non-motorised transport (e.g. bicycles).
iii. Multi-level parking.
iv. Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS).
Green space and parks
i. Development of green space and parks with special provision for child-friendly components.
Reforms management & support
i. Support structures, activities and funding support for reform implementation.
ii. Independent Reform monitoring agencies.
i. This has two components- individual and institutional capacity building.
ii. The capacity building will not be limited to the Mission Cities, but will be extended to other ULBs as well.
iii. Continuation of the Comprehensive Capacity Building Programme (CCBP) after its realignment towards the new Missions.
Indicative (not exhaustive) list of inadmissible components
i. Purchase of land for projects or project related works, ii. Staff salaries of both the States/ULBs,
vi. Education, and
vii. Wage employment programme and staff component.