World Bank to Provide India Initial Funds for Smart Cities and AMRUT Projects

Onno Ruhl, World Bank’s country director in India, said World Bank will provide initial funds for India’s Smart Cities and AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) projects. The World Bank (WB) is currently in talk with Indian government for the same. These projects, along with Housing for All by 2022, were launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015 so as to realize the growing need for urbanization boost in the country. An estimated investment of 3 lakh crore will involve in the development of the ambitious schemes for the next five years, which are said to be a quantum leap for improving urban revitalization, and perceived as the significant growth driver for Indian real estate.

We are in discussions with the government to provide some funding at the initial stages for the smart cities and AMRUT programs.” – said Onno Ruhl at the initiation of WB report on urbanization titled as “Leveraging Urbanization in South Asia: Managing Spatial Transformation for Prosperity and Livability”. The report was released by visiting World Bank Managing Director and Chief Operations officer, Sri Mulyani Indrawati.

Onno voiced his compliment for Indian government’s urbanization drive, terming it as “biggest of its kind” in the next 30 years. He lauded Finance Commission recommendations implemented by Indian government, saying the move will effectively devolve funds to Indian states associated with the program. The report points an estimated rise of human population in South Asia will be of 250 million by 2030 from its previous 130 million noted between 2000 to the year 2011.

The report by Indrawati points out South Asian cities for encumbering infrastructure demands, and that they did not fulfill their potential to transform their economies. The report suggests tapping on economic potential by initiating moves at policy and institutional level to address the “messy and hidden” urbanization of the country as framed by the report.

“Cities in South Asia are not fulfilling their potential for transforming their economies, putting enormous demands on their infrastructure, as in Mumbai which I just visited,” Indrawati said.

Source: INDIAN EXPRESS. September 25, 2015

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