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Uttar Pradesh to invest Rs.3,287 cr in basic urban infra under AMRUT Plan

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Government seeks to invest Rs.3,287 cr for improving water supply and sewerage network services and provision of green spaces and parks in 60 cities under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Action Plan for 2015-16, submitted to the Ministry of Urban Development. Out of this, Rs.1,519 cr is to be spent on water supply schemes in 60 mission cities, Rs.1,698 cr on sewerage projects in 24 cities and Rs.70 cr on providing open spaces in 58 cities. In the State Annual Action Plan for 2015-16 under Atal Mission, the state government has reported better availability of basic infrastructure services than the national average for urban areas. Average water supply in these 60 mission cities is reported to be 161 litres per capita per day as against the national average of 70 lpcd for urban areas in the country. Coverage of urban households with water taps is 54% while it is 50% for the country. 87% of households in these 60 cities are said to be having individual household toilets as against 69% for urban India. Sewerage network services are available to the extent of 34% while it is at a low of 12% for the country. Under SAAP for 2015-16, the state government has proposed an investment of Rs.352 cr in Ghaziabad to further augment water supply (Rs.45 cr) and sewerage network services(Rs.307 cr), the highest among all 60 mission cities. This if followed by Rs.305 cr for Lucknow, Rs.223 cr for Jhansi, Rs.200 cr for Kanpur, Rs.190 cr for Allahabad, Rs.180 cr each for Varanasi and  Modinagar, Rs.140 cr for Mirzapur, Rs.125 cr for Meerut, Rs.109 cr for Moradabad, Rs.107 cr for Bulandshahar, Rs.98 cr for Ghazipur, Rs.80 cr for Shahranpur and Rs.65 cr for Raibareilly. As per the information furnished by the state government, water supply at present in the 60 mission cities is in the range of 45 litres per capita per day in Amroh to a high of 300 lpcd in Ghazipur. In 32 cities and towns, water supply is more than 135 lpcd, which is the prescribed bench mark for urban areas of the country. In 11 cities and towns, it is between 100 and 135 lpcd. The state government in its SAAP said  that “the overall trend shows that there is sufficient availability of water supply in most of the AMRUT cities”. The extent of coverage of households with water taps in the mission cities is to the extent of 54% and projects will be taken up to ensure 100% coverage by 2019-20. The state government proposed to reduce Non-Revenue Water (NRW-extent of water being supplied without collecting user charges) to the norm of 20% as NRW in the mission cities is in the range of 21% in Aligarh to a high of 65% in Meerut. Focus will also be on expanding sewerage network services since at present no such services are available in 20 mission cities and in the rest it is in the range of 0.05% in Etawah to 94% in Mainpuri. Situation in this regard is better in 14 Municipal corporations. Under   Atal Mission, priority is given for universal coverage of urban households with water supply and sewerage connections besides ensuring water supply @ 135 lpcd. Central Government has made a provision of Rs.50,000 cr for assisting the states to the extent of 50% of project costs in cities with a population of below 10 lakhs each and one third of the cost if the population is above 10 lakhs each. Rest has to be matched by states and urban local bodies. Out of the 60 mission cities, 7 cities viz., Lucknow, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Agra, Meerut, Varanasi and Allahabad have a population of above 10 lakhs each. 45 towns have a population in the range of one to five lakhs with Kasganj having the lowest population of 1,01,241. The state government has reported that urban population in Uttar Pradesh has increased from 190 lakhs (excluding that of present Uttarakhand) in 1981 to 445 lakhs in 2011, now accounting for 12% of country’s urban population. All cities and towns in the country with a population of above one lakh each and all capital cities and towns are included in Atal Mission. Central assistance to each state under this mission is allocated based on an objective criteria of total urban population and number of statutory urban local bodies in each state. The AMRUT Action Plan of Uttar Pradesh for 2015-16 will be considered by the Ministry of Urban Development for approval on the 10th of this month. The Ministry has so far approved such plans of 13 states covering a total of 286 cities and towns.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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