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New Delhi : Implementation of urban infrastructure projects got off to a good start in 2016, the first year  of  execution. Fast  execution of urban infrastructure projects, approval of smart city plans for 60 cities, credit rating  cities for resource mobilization through municipal bonds, Swachh Bharat Mission picking up momentum in urban areas, enactment of Real Estate Act and notification of Real Estate Rules, largescale approval of construction of affordable houses for urban poor and massive investment approval in urban areas, modification of Building Bye-laws and simplification of approvals for building plans and construction permits made 2016 a new landmark in urban development.

Under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), 490 projects with an investment of Rs.6,571 crore have taken off. They include 102 projects to ensure water supply connections to all households besides enabling water supply at the normative 135 litres per head per day in 76 cities at a cost of Rs.3,474 crore  and 41 sewerage and septage management projects and augmenting water supply  in another 39 mission cities at a cost of Rs.2,878 crore, according to a PIB release.

Under Smart city Mission that involved the complex task of converting city-wise Smart City Plans into projects warranting elaborate technical planning, 87 projects in 19 cities worth Rs.5,768 crore are under execution with seven of them already completed, even though the first batch of 20 smart cities was announced in January, 2016.

During 2016, a qualitative transformation has been set in motion with cities embarking on credit rating which is necessary for mobilization of much required resources through municipal bonds and 87 smart cities have undertaken credit rating exercise with 16 of them completing the process. Twelve cities that have been given credit rating are: Pune-AA, Ahmedabad and New Delhi Municipal Council-AA minus,  Visakhapatnam-A, Jaipur- A minus, Udaipur, Kota and Ajmer-BBB plus, Tirupati, Kakinada and Bhubaneswar-BBB and Roukela-BB plus.

Swachh Bhart Mission in urban areas got close to half-way mark of mission targets  in building toilets during the year. As against the target of building over 66 lakh individual household toilets, 27,81,883 have already been built and construction of another 21,43,222 toilets is nearing completion as  the mission gained momentum in 2016.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) has hit a new high with construction of 9,02,008 affordable houses for urban poor being approved during 2016 alone as against over 13 lakh such houses approved during 2005-2014. A major highlight of 2016 being enactment of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act.

Minister of Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu told media : “New urban missions except Swachh Bharat Mission were launched in 2015 after a year long extensive consultations with States, Urban Local Bodies and other stakeholders.  City governments rose to the occasion to a large extent and that is evident in the pace of implementation. I welcome the notification of the Ministry of Environment and Forests this week simplifying green clearance for construction projects. On the whole, 2016, the first year of execution of new missions has been encouraging. ”



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