National Urban Renewal Mission

Jul 28, 2006

"Today, a third of our population lives in urban areas and keeping in mind the speed at which urbanisation is taking place, the day is not far off when over 50 percent of India's population will be residing in urban areas. We taught the world the basic concepts of urban planning. But today our cities are often unable to meet the basic needs of their residents on many counts." (Dr. Manmohan Singh, Honerable Prime Minister of India)


On December 3, 2005 the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh has officially launched the most ambitious programme ever to be taken up for Urban Development in India. The flagship program titled Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission is to be executed through a combined investment by the Centre, state governments and the urban local bodies estimated to at Rs 1,25,000 crore (US$ 28 billion) to be implemented in seven years with a provision to maintain the gains. A steering group headed by the urban development minister will guide the programme.
Set to cover about 60 cities with a million plus population, all state capitals and some other cities considered important from religious, historical and tourism importance, the mission will focus attention on the integrated development of urban infrastructure and services, with special emphasis on provision of basic services, including housing, water supply, sanitation, slum improvement, community toilets, to the urban poor.
The urban services naturally have immense significance to the stakeholders of Trenchless Fraternity as the method of urban renewal process at this stage is yet to be decided and trenchless alone can insure the complete renewal process without displacing the urban poor, one of the primary beneficiaries of the mission deliverables. The article aims to present a brief overview of NURM for the sensitization of the stakeholders.
Urban Renewal

Urban Renewal initially referred to slum clearance and housing but has gradually evolved into a multidimensional concept. It is increasingly being looked at as an answer to the multi faceted urban crisis, which is a universal phenomenon.
Although widely debated and variedly interpreted in the context of changing time, place problems and needs, it is universally accepted that urban renewal is a complex phenomenon and has several aspects. It includes slum clearance and improvement, provision of housing, provision of adequate social facilities and civic amenities, creation of infrastructure, road widening and traffic regulation, improving the visual appearance of old areas and creation of better living environment, and preservation of historical monuments / areas, etc. Stated simply, urban renewal is a combination of the process of rehabilitation, conservation and redevelopment. It is the nature and stage of 'decay' that determines the strategy to be adopted: rehabilitation, conservation or redevelopment or a combination of them.
However, be it rehabilitation, redevelopment, conservation or a combination of one or two or all of them, a comprehensive urban renewal exercise involves technological interventions, planning and partnership / networking between various agencies and authorities.

The impact of the growth of population on urban infrastructure and civic services has been adverse. For the cities to realise their full potential and become true engines of growth, it is necessary that focused attention is given to the improvement of urban infrastructure and, more importantly, to improving the institutional service delivery mechanism at the city level.
Sub-optimal structures continue to exist in cities partly because the landlords do not have any incentive of maintaining them, because of low rental income and partly on account of difficulty in evicting tenants. This hampers the rejuvenation of inner city areas. Transitional arrangements can be made to avoid hardship cases but zoning regulations should take into account the changing nature of inner city areas and permit their redevelopment, paving the way for urban renewal. In the developed countries, when an area is declared under law as an Urban Renewal or Urban Redevelopment Area, all land transactions and building activities within that area are stopped, land is requisitioned by the government and a general plan for reconstruction is prepared by the designated authority. The authority is empowered to move occupants from a renewal region on the condition that other suitable premises should be provided outside of other prospective renewal or redevelopment regions. However, in the Indian context, much more is needed than mere redevelopment of inner city.
The ambitious scheme, among the pet projects of Dr. Manmohan Singh, is named after India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru with special emphasis on basic services to the urban poor. The amount earmarked is for seven years.
The services in the ambitious scheme include housing, water supply and sanitation, and slum improvement. The agenda also includes improving the efficiency of city governance by public participation and disclosure.
The National Urban Renewal Mission (NURM) would be a reforms-driven, fast track, planned development of identified cities with focus on efficiency in urban infrastructure/ services delivery mechanism, community participation and accountability of ULBs towards citizens. The following broad framework is proposed for the Mission:
  • Central sponsorship
  • The sector-wise DPRs to be prepared by the identified cities enumerating projects for various components along with their priorities.
  • The funding pattern to be 35:15:50 (between Centre, States/ULBs and financial institutions) for mega cities (> 40 lakh population), 50:20:30 for cities with million plus but less than four million population and 80:10:10 for other cities.
  • In addition to the above the mission also caters to works for setting up desalination plants within 20 km/s. from sea-shore and other urban areas predominantly facing water scarcity due to brackish water and non-availability of surface source. The funding pattern in this case is 80:10:10.
  • The grant assistance (both Central and state) to act as seed money to leverage additional resources from financial institutions/capital market. In addition, various PPP models with viability gap funding would also be explored to further supplement the resources. The scheme would be implemented through a designated state level nodal agency.
  • Every identified city would prepare planned urban perspective frameworks for a period of 20-25 years (with five yearly updates) indicating policies, programmes and strategies of meeting fund requirements. This perspective plan is to be followed by the preparation of development plans integrating land use with services, urban transport and environment management.
  • The menu of urban reforms to include both mandatory and optional items of reforms. The cities seeking assistance under NURM would have to undertake all the mandatory reforms within the prescribed time frame, even as they have the freedom to opt for any five items of reforms from the optional category. The state governments and the identified city would execute MOA with the Government of India and ensure that such reforms are actually undertaken.
Mission objectives are:
  • Focussed attention to integrated development of infrastructural services in the cities covered under the Mission.
  • Secure effective linkages between asset creation and asset management so that the infrastructural services created in the cities are not only maintained efficiently but also become self-sustaining over time.
  • Ensure adequate investment of funds to fulfill deficiencies in the urban infrastructural services.
  • Planned development of identified cities including peri-urban areas, out growths, urban corridors, so that urbanization takes place in a dispersed manner.
  • Scale up the delivery of civic amenities and provision of utilities with emphasis on universal access to the urban poor.
  • To take up urban renewal programme, i.e., redevelopment of inner (old) cities area to reduce congestion, and
  • Provision of basic services to urban poor including security of tenure at affordable prices, improved housing, water supply, sanitation and ensuring delivery of other already existing universal services of the government for education, health and social security.
List of identified cities
City Name of the State   City Name of the State
1. Delhi Delhi 1. Guwahati Assam
2. Greater Mumbai Maharashtra 2. Itanagar Arunachal Pradesh
3. Ahmedabad Gujarat 3. Jammu Jammu and Kashmir
4. Bangalore Karnataka 4. Raipur Chhattisgarh
5. Chennai Tamil Nadu 5. Panaji Goa
6. Kolkata West Bengal 6. Shimla Himachal Pradesh
7. Hyderabad Andhra Pradesh 7. Ranchi Jharkhand
1. Patna Bihar 8. Thiruvananthapuram Kerala
2. Faridabad Haryana 9. Imphal Manipur
3. Bhopal Madhya Pradesh 10. Shillong Meghalaya
4. Ludhiana Punjab 11. Aizawal Mizoram
5. Jaipur Rajasthan 12. Kohima Nagaland
6. Lucknow Uttar Pradesh 13. Bhubaneswar Orissa
7. Madurai Tamil Nadu 14. Gangtok Sikkim
8. Nashik Maharashtra 15. Agartala Tripura
9. Pune Maharashtra 16. Dehradun Uttaranchal
10. Cochin Kerala 17. Bodh Gaya Bihar
11. Varanasi Uttar Pradesh 18. Ujjain Madhya Pradesh
12. Agra Uttar Pradesh 19. Puri Orissa
13. Amritsar Maharashtra 20. Ajmer-Pushkar Rajasthan
14. Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh 21. Nainital Uttaranchal
15. Vadodara Gujarat 22. Mysore Karnataka
16. Surat Gujarat 23. Pondicherry Pondicherry
17. Kanpur Uttar Pradesh 24. Chandigarh Punjab & Haryana
18. Nagpur Maharashtra 25. Srinagar Jammu & Kashmir
19. Coimbatore Tamil Nadu      
20. Meerut Uttar Pradesh      
21. Jabalpur Madhya Pradesh      
22. Jamshedpur Jharkhand      
23. Asansol West Bengal      
24. Allahabad Allahabad      
25. Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh      
26. Rajkot Gujarat      
27. Dhanbad Jharkhand      
28. Indore Madhya Pradesh      
Mission Coverage

The Mission is planned to be operated through two sub-missions namely Urban Infrastructure and Urban Governance in the 60 selected cities. NURM has a set of mega cities, cities with million plus population, state capitals and cities of cultural & tourism importance.
Urban Services under NURM

The identified mandatory reform amongst others has the following components:
  • Efficiency improvement of drinking water supply on the basis of water audit.
  • Introduction of independent regulators for urban services.
  • Provision of basic services to urban poor including security of tenure at affordable prices, improved housing, water supply, sanitation and ensuring delivery of other already existing universal services of the government for education, health and social security.
  • Introduction of system of e-governance using IT applications like, GIS and MIS for various services provided by ULBs.
  • Assigning or associating elected ULBs as with “city planning function”. Over a period of five years, transferring all special agencies that deliver civic services in urban areas to ULBs and creating accountability platforms for all urban civic service providers in transition.
Similarly on optional reforms front components are as follows:
  • Revision of by-laws to streamline the approval process for construction of buildings, development of sites etc.
  • Reuse of reclaimed water.
  • Adoption of water conservation measures
Significance to Trenchless Fraternity

There are several admissible components under UIDSSMT and NURM where the trenchless technology could be applied thereby enhancing the applications. The components are as follows:
  • Urban renewal i.e. redevelopment of inner (old) city areas (this would include items like widening of narrow streets, shifting of industrial/commercial establishments from non-conforming (inner-city) areas to 'conforming' (outer-city) areas to reduce congestion, replacement of old and worn-out water pipes by new/higher capacity ones, renewal of sewerage/drainage/solid waste disposal systems, etc).
  • Water supply and sanitation, including setting up desalination plants, where necessary;
  • Sewerage and solid waste management
  • Construction and improvement of drains/storm water drains
  • Laying/improvement /widening of arterial/sub-arterial roads and bridges to remove transport bottlenecks.
  • Construction and development of bus and truck terminals
  • Environmental improvement and city beautification schemes.
  • Construction of working women hostels, marriage halls, old age and destitute Children’s homes, night shelters with community toilets.
  • Street lighting
  • Slaughter houses
  • Civic amenities like playgrounds/stadia, community halls.
  • Hospital waste management
  • Urban transport
Opportunities for Trenchless Fraternity

Cities and towns contribute over 50 per cent of India's gross domestic product (GDP), and as such are central to national economic growth, even more so at a time of major economic reform, increased competition amid globalisation and an explosion in the use of information and communication technology. However, the cities and towns also face major infrastructure and service deficiencies, marked by unresponsive delivery and regulatory systems and poorly maintained, underinvested and overstressed service networks. Land and property markets are grossly distorted and most cities have experienced a rise in the number of households without adequate shelter and basic services. About one third of India's urban population is estimated to be living below the poverty line.
In 1996, a comprehensive report on infrastructure in India estimated the gap between the available and required investment resources for urban infrastructure at about Rs.170 billion, and indications are that this gap has subsequently grown substantially. Nearly 50 percent of urban households have inadequate access to potable water and another 65 per cent have no access to sanitation services. No Indian city has 24 hour of water supply for 7 days a week. A legacy of imprudent management, insufficient financial controls, poor tax administration and low levels of cost recovery have weakened the fiscal capacity of most cities to redress these shortcomings, and as yet the intergovernmental fiscal system has been unable to systematically support necessary reforms. City administrations hence remain unable to effectively respond to users, and the intergovernmental system has been too fragmented to assist them to turn this around.
There is a growing consensus that widespread reform in governance and service delivery is required and that such reforms cannot be undertaken through isolated projects. More systemic reform is required. However, most cities seem unlikely to be able to carry the costs of transition on their own. This will delay reform and stand to disadvantage the poor during the reform process. The delays are likely to cause continuing under-performance in municipal service delivery and further decline in the quality of services. It will also retard economic development in cities and towns, and given their importance to the national economy, this will jeopardize national economic growth and development.
Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India has been developing a National Urban Renewal Mission, and the 2005-2006 GoI budgets provides for fiscal incentives to state and city governments to implement urban reforms envisaged under the framework of the Mission.
From the preceding one can see that the mission will particularly pay attention to providing housing, water supply, sanitation, slum improvement and other such facilities to the poor. Further the mission is part of the commitments made in the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) for taking up a comprehensive programme of urban renewal and the expansion of social housing in cities and towns. The urban renewal mission will be the most ambitious programme ever to be taken up for urban development in the country. A combined investment by the Centre, state governments and the urban local bodies of more than Rs one lakh crore is proposed to be spent on this programme over the next seven years.
All the above points out the level of government commitments.
Conclusion and Challenges for the Fraternity

Trenchless Techniques provide opportunities of executing several subsurface development and management assignments in a most environment friendly manner without displacing urban poor. Although, it is evident that most of the admissible components can be successfully executed using one or another Trenchless Technology techniques a substantial challenge however is the acceptance of these techniques in the mindset of the developing agencies who at present believe that these techniques are expensive and beyond their reach.

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