Urban India 2013 | Jul - Dec

Submitted by nanda on 14 July 2014 - 4:13pm
Reform Initiatives in Financing India’s Urban Infrastructure: The Case of JNNURM

Since the launch of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), substantial central assistance has been provided to cities and towns for infrastructure development and housing the poor. However, a closer examination reveals increasing regional and spatial disparities in the provision of funds under the mission. Distribution of JNNURM funds has been found to be concentrated in comparatively financially stronger states and their larger cities. At the city level, commercially viable projects have been given priority over the projects related to basic services for all. Given the limited technical capacity of the ULBs, the city development plans that were meant to formulate  strategies for the city's future needs were prepared by the private consultants and in most cases served only for identification of priority infrastructure projects without any citizens' participation. Given the limited internal resource mobilization capacities, most of the ULBs failed to raise matching requisite financial contribution parallel to the Central Government grant that resulted in discontinuation of flow of the central fund to them. This paper attempts to assess the effects of JNNURM on the existing urban governance framework and overview the progress of reforms and the status of funds released for different type of projects.

Soumyadip Chattopadhyay and Durgesh M. Tewari
Urban Reforms under JNNURM- An Assessment

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) was designed as a reform-linked investment mission to ensure financially sustainable development of the cities through efficient governance, better infrastructure and improved service delivery. The JNNURM has contributed to significant investments and improvement in the physical infrastructure of cities. This reform linked investment strategy has triggered the focus of state and urban local bodies to change the service delivery mechanism and to augment resources that could be self sustainable. As far as the status of reform implementation is concerned, the states which are relatively advanced and economically sound have taken reform initiatives ahead of others while the rest are at different stages of implementation. This paper presents the status of implementation of reforms in the mission cities. It analyses the causes and problems faced by the cities in the implementation of the reforms and suggest measures for the second generation JNNURM. 

Pragya Sharma
State of Urban Infrastructure Investment in Kerala under JNNURM - A Study with Special Reference to Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project

The increased awareness towards a sustainable society coupled with a need to make our cities worth living strengthens the demand side interference in provision and management of urban infrastructure. The present paper encapsulates a critical analysis of the existing planning approach to the urban infrastructure system and the multiple facets that affects implementation of urban infrastructure projects in the state of Kerala with special reference to the Kerala Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Programme.

Suresh.V.N. and Archana Aravindan
Towards Socially Accountable Urban Local Governance: The Citizens’ Charter Reform in West Bengal

In the fast progressing urban milieu, the initiation of Charter reforms in India has been a breakthrough innovation. As a powerful social accountability mechanism, Citizens’ Charters can go a long way to ensure quality management of public service delivery, thereby promoting good urban governance and responsive administration. Grounded in this precept, the paper seeks to capture the Charter experience in select Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in West Bengal, one of the few Indian States where municipal reforms experiment has made a significant headway. In the light of empirical findings an attempt has also been made to examine the success of the Charter reforms in establishing much desired link between the citizens and the civic authorities.

Payel Sen
Urban Property Ownership Records (UPOR) in Karnataka: Computerized Land Registration System for Urban Properties

Effective land governance has not received due attention in India. The challenges posed by the recent global developments, especially urbanization, migration to urban centres, ineffective land management practices, institutional fragmentation, decentralized reforms and lacuna in the  legal system to guarantee land titles,  have increased the complexity of land administration.  It is with the intention of addressing these problems that the UPOR has been initiated in Karnataka. It is expected to promote efficiency in service delivery and enable citizen interface with the digital management of land records throughout the state. If successfully implemented, it may act as a good practice which could be replicated in other states. 

S. Manasi and K.C.Smitha
Urban Waste Water Management under JNNURM: A Study of Union Territory Chandigarh

Wastewater management or the lack of it has a direct impact on our bio-diversity, disrupting the fundamental integrity of our life support systems, on which a wide range of sectors from urban development to food production and industry depend. Hence, it is essential that wastewater management is considered as part of integrated, ecosystem-based management that operates across sectors and borders. The present study attempts to substantiate the need and significance of waste water management. The first section of this paper discusses the critical challenges we face in managing wastewater and considers the implications for people and the environment across different sectors. The second section looks at the measures initiated at national level to overcome these problems. The third section studies the waste water management strategies adopted by Chandigarh administration, problems faced and gaps in implementation. The final section tries to find solutions and suggest how these challenges can be addressed.

Dr. Namita Gupta and Rajiv Gupta
Access to Basic Amenities in Urban India - An analysis across Size Class of Towns/Cities

This paper examines the disparities in access to basic amenities like drinking water, sanitation, electricity, housing qualities and drainage arrangement at various class sizes of towns and cities in urban India using National Sample Survey’s Housing Conditions unit record data across caste, ethnic, religious and economic groups (livelihood categories and poverty). With respect to all the indicators, improvement was observed between 1993 to 2008-09. However this improvement was not sufficient to reduce the gap among social and economic groups. STs, SCs, CLs and poor households were found most lagging behind in 2008-09. Access to basic amenities was found to be better as we move from small to larger towns and cities. The pattern across the socio-religious and economic groups remained similar in every class sizes of towns and cities, with improvement in access to every basic amenity taken for analysis as we move from small to large towns. It indicates that there is variation in attainment by different socio-religious and economic groupsin every class sizes of towns and cities. Basic amenities such as drinking water facility, sanitation facilities and drainage arrangement require special attention.  Results suggest that there are factors acting as constraints based on social backgrounds leading to denial on access to basic amenities.Findings of this study implies that various policies on basic amenities needs to be supplemented with pro poor and group specific policies (social, religious and economic groups) at various class sizes of towns and cities in urban Indiawith special focus towards smaller towns and cities for raising the overall standard of life and well-being. 

Arjun Kumar
Economic Performance, Employment Status, Poverty and Inequality in Metropolitan India

Metropolitan cities are important from a policy perspective in India, and not just because in the coming decades more people will live there; but because they are the engines of national economies. The small and emerging metros are performing much better economically than the big metros, though the economic significance of the big metros remains undeniable. Areas of immediate intervention in metros include the issue of integration and coordination within the metropolitan regions in the face of the phenomenon of shrinking cores and expanding peripheries in terms of the distribution of economic mass; and revitalization of the manufacturing sector, and aligning it with the urbanization and metropolization processes, by making the peripheries of metros open to a more mixed land-use pattern. Also, there are huge gaps to be filled in the domain of skills development and training; so as to equip people in the metros with specialized skills so that they find employment in the services sector. This would be a critical requirement for the metros which have the lowest economic performance index values.    

Dibyendu Samanta
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