More than Rs. 18 lakh crore invested since 2014 in the transformation of our cities and towns
In a world where cities are the epicenters of economic growth and innovation, India is undergoing a remarkable transformation. The urban landscape is evolving rapidly, and the Indian government, under visionary leadership, is taking bold strides towards urban development. Shri Hardeep S Puri, the Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs and Petroleum & Natural Gas, recently highlighted the need for a forward-looking approach to urban development. In his address at the National Workshop on Capacity Building of Urban Local Bodies, he emphasized the importance of creating a holistic ecosystem for last-mile access to services, enhanced operational efficiencies, and digital technology integration.
A Shift in Perspective
Shri Puri’s words signal a fundamental shift in perspective. Gone are the days of traditional infrastructure creation as the sole focus of urban development. Instead, the vision is to create a comprehensive urban ecosystem that addresses the unique challenges and opportunities of India’s rapidly urbanizing landscape.
The Holistic Ecosystem Approach
So, what exactly is this holistic ecosystem approach? It encompasses several key elements:
- Last-Mile Access to Services: The government recognizes the importance of ensuring that urban residents have easy access to essential services like healthcare, education, and transportation. This approach prioritizes the well-being and convenience of citizens.
- Enhanced Operational Efficiencies: Efficiency is crucial for sustainable urban development. By optimizing the operations of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), resources can be allocated more effectively and services delivered more efficiently.
- Integration of Digital Technology: The digital revolution is reshaping urban life. Integrating technology into urban governance can lead to smarter cities, improved service delivery, and enhanced quality of life for residents.
Building Capacity for Urban Local Bodies
To achieve these ambitious goals, Shri Puri stressed the need to increase capabilities at individual, organizational, and institutional levels. This capacity-building initiative is the driving force behind the National Workshop on Capacity Building of Urban Local Bodies.
Shri Puri highlighted the historical underinvestment in urban areas between 2004 and 2014, emphasizing that urban development had faced neglect during that period. However, since 2014, the government has embarked on a transformational journey, investing over Rs. 18 lakh crores in the development of cities and towns.
Financial Empowerment of ULBs
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, ULBs have been granted greater financial resources and access. The increase in funds from the 15th Finance Commission, which reached Rs. 1,55,628 crores between 2021-22 and 2025-26, demonstrates the government’s commitment to urban development.
The AMRUT mission has also empowered cities to raise capital investment through municipal bonds, increasing their creditworthiness and attractiveness to investors.
Reforms in Urban Planning
Shri Puri highlighted significant reforms in urban planning, including modernization of building bye-laws, transit-oriented development, and nature-based solutions for blue and green infrastructure. These reforms align with the government’s commitment to sustainable and inclusive urban development.
Mission Karmayogi: A Unified Approach
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and the Capacity Building Commission (CBC) jointly organized the national-level workshop as part of Mission Karmayogi. The workshop aimed to foster a unified approach to capacity building for Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) across India.
Key Initiatives Launched
The workshop marked the launch of three key initiatives:
- Annual Capacity Building Plan (ACBP) for MoHUA: A strategic plan to enhance the capacity of MoHUA.
- Annual Capacity Building Plans for 6 pilot ULBs: Focused capacity-building plans for specific ULBs, including Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Mysuru, Rajkot, Nagpur, and Pune.
- Comprehensive Toolkit for preparing the Capacity Building Plans for ULBs: A valuable resource for ULBs to plan and implement capacity-building initiatives effectively.
Empowering Urban Local Bodies
The workshop brought together more than 250 officials, including Municipal Commissioners, state government representatives, knowledge partners, and industry experts. It facilitated productive discussions and interactions, emphasizing the importance of continuous improvement and skill development within ULBs.
The Future of Urban Development
The workshop is a crucial step towards realizing the goals of Mission Karmayogi and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision for a reformed civil service. It underscores the commitment of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the Capacity Building Commission to empower ULBs across the country and drive national development and governance effectively.
As India continues its journey towards urbanization, the holistic ecosystem approach and the capacity-building initiatives introduced under Mission Karmayogi are instrumental in shaping the future of urban development. Shri Hardeep S Puri’s vision and the government’s commitment to empowering Urban Local Bodies will undoubtedly pave the way for smarter, more efficient, and citizen-centric cities in India.
Disclaimer: This post has been written exclusively for educational purposes. The securities mentioned are only examples and not recommendations. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making related decisions.