Urban Development Schemes Likely to Infuse Rs 4L Cr, Add 34 Lakh Jobs

New Delhi
Urban Development Schemes Likely to Infuse Rs 4L Cr, Add 34 Lakh Jobs

Urban development initiatives, Smart Cities Mission and Housing for All, unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, are likely to infuse Rs 4 lakh crore once integrated with other missions like Digital India and Swachh Bharat, say industry experts.

The move is expected to help create as many as 34 lakh jobs in the country as the decision will have significant "multiplier effect" for over 250 core and ancillary sectors, including infrastructure, logistics and modern retail, they said.

Pratap Padode, Founder-Director of Smart Cities Council India said the smart cities mission will attract huge investments from international companies and even the private sector, which has been shying away from PPPs.

"The smart cities mission and AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) are likely to infuse a total amount of Rs 4,00,000 crore, once integrated with all other missions like Digital India, Swachh Bharat, Housing for All etc," he added.

Modi launched three urban development schemes, AMRUT, Smart Cities Mission and Housing for All, saying urbanisation should be viewed as an opportunity and urban centres should be seen as growth engines.

While 500 cities will be developed under AMRUT scheme, there would be 100 smart cities over five years and Housing for All aims at construction of 2 crore houses in urban areas in the next seven years, Modi said.

Assocham President Rana Kapoor said sectors like housing, transport, sanitation and power supply will require significant investment.

"An increase in infrastructure investment equivalent to 1 per cent of GDP can create an additional 34 lakh jobs," Kapoor said.

Chandan Chowdhury, India Managing Director of Dassault Systems, said if urban growth is unchecked and unplanned, it could lead to massive energy and water consumption and wastage, besides growing carbon emissions.

Key challenges that urban areas face include increasing transport demands, depleted ground water resources and poor disaster management planning, he added.

The process of building urban infrastructure would lead to an explosive growth in the economy, according to KPMG India Partner, Infrastructure and Government services, Jaijit Bhattacharya.

"The execution of the vision would entail large scale consumption of cement, metals, plastics, materials and services.

"It would also lead to innovations and creation of spin-off technologies that would surely make India a global player in building future cities," Bhattacharya added.

Echoing similar views, DHFL CEO Harshil Mehta said the process of urbanising India would lead to tremendous growth in the economy, encourage innovation and adoption of high-end technologies that would make India a global player in building future cities.

"The recognition of the necessity to urbanise India has laid down the platform to attract huge investments and create a large pool of employment opportunities, thereby contributing to the India growth story," he added.

Siemens CEO Sunil Mathur said cities need to be able to provide their inhabitants with the highest standard of living while ensuring sustained protection of the environment.

"Smart cities are a result of intelligently addressing and integrating four core pillars for sustainable urban transformation: integrated and multi-modal mobility, reliable power, secure and smart buildings, and clean environment," he said.

Technology holds the answer to many urban challenges as it can help make better use of existing infrastructure, he added.

CII President Sumit Mazumder said, "Isolated successful urban initiatives across the country would now be scaled up to the national level through these dedicated missions and innovative solutions like providing interest subvention up to 6.5 per cent on loans to EWS (economically weaker sections) for affordable housing."

HCC Chairman and Managing Director Ajit Gulabchand said: "The Prime Minister's three mega flagship urban schemes aimed at developing cities as engines of growth is an extraordinary step, and I welcome it."

India needs cities to meet the challenge of creating approximately 300 million new jobs in next 20 years for children who are already born, he said, adding that this is apart from the estimated 400 million people expected to migrate to cities in the same period.

Ficci President Jyotsna Suri the launch is the beginning of a new urban India in the making.

"This is an extremely progressive step which will positively help in proper planning and development of our cities. The citizens' role has also been prominently highlighted which is commendable," Suri said.

Senior Director with Deloitte in India, Arindam Guha said given the budgetary and related constraints, it is unlikely that Urban Development Ministry's Smart City programme would be able to accommodate more than one or two cities in each state.

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