Rs 50,000 cr for urban development in 11th Plan

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Ahmedabad, Sep 17 (UNI) Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy today said that Rs 50,000 crore would be earmarked for urban development across the country under the Eleventh Plan.

The pace of urbanisation has been slow in India at about 30 per cent as compared to global levels, Mr Reddy said while speaking to reporters here today.

But, the rate is expected to rise, he added.

Mr Reddy claimed that urban development schemes have received proper direction only after the launch of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The mission is reform-driven and aims at promoting sustainable cities by improving service-delivery, governance, transparency, responsiveness, financial management and land and property management.

He said the Centre had sanctioned Rs 3,990 crore of projects in the last 18 months under the JNNURM in Gujarat. As against this, the projects approved for the state during 2000-05 was merely Rs 110 crore.

Out of the Rs 3,990 crore sanctioned to Gujarat, Rs 2,497 crore was for urban infrastructure and governance, Rs 1,142 crore was for basic services to urban poor, Rs 212 crore was urban infrastructure development for small and medium towns, and around Rs 137 crore for integrated housing and slum development, he elaborated.

The Central assistance to Ahmedabad has been 35 per cent of approved project costs. For Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara, it was 50 per cent. For small and medium towns, the Central assistance is 80 per cent of the approved project cost.

Refuting allegations that the Centre has acted in a step-motherly manner towards Gujarat, Mr Reddy quipped, ''We have responded to the aspirations of the people of Gujarat in the best possible way.'' To a question on metro rail, he said, ''We will respond to the initiatives of the state government. Let the state government come out with a plan.'' To Centre's plan on Porbandar, Mr Reddy said Mahatma Gandhi's birthplace would be given due importance in future plans.

UNI

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