PM to launch 3 mega schemes for transforming urban India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set on Thursday to launch three mega flagship schemes aimed at transforming urban India, including the much talked about Smart Cities proposal, with a whopping Rs 4 lakh crore kitty having been lined up for the projects.

Modi will release implementation guidelines for three projects -- 100 Smart Cities, the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for 500 cities and Housing-For-All by 2022 in urban areas.

He will also unveil the logo of the housing mission, which has his personal touch in the finalisation of its design.

The operational guidelines for each of the three projects -- which lay the ground rules and framework for implementation -- were formulated after extensive, almost year-long consultations with states, Union Territories and urban local bodies.

The Prime Minister has been involved in the formulation of the three mega urban initiatives involving a central grant of about Rs 4 lakh crore.

He was given regular presentations by the Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation ministries and would issue instructions for making them more workable, said sources in the UD Ministry.

While the Smart City and AMRUT projects will draw Rs 48,000 crore and and Rs 50,000 crore, respectively, in central grants over five years, Housing-for-All by 2022 will see the government spend about Rs 3 lakh crore in the next seven years as it aims to construct 2 crore affordable houses in urban areas for slum dwellers and people from economically-weaker sections and low income groups.

Under the housing scheme, interest subsidy of 6.5 percent on housing loans with tenure up to 15 years will be provided to EWS and low income groups, giving them a benefit of about Rs 2.3 lakh each.

Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the three projects will herald a new urban era.

"The journey for team India begins tomorrow," he said. States and local bodies will play a key role in the execution of these schemes, the minister said, adding that there will also be a lot of scope for private participation.

"Effective management of growing urbanisation is a major challenge towards the making of resurgent India.

Resource management is a major challenge and our government sees an opportunity in this," he told reporters here.

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