Rurban Mission Success Stories from Gujarat

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Rurban Mission from Chhattisgarh.

While launching the mission PM Modi said that: "Through Rurban Mission, Government aims to combine the spirit of village and facilities of cities. Also with the mission villages would become centres of growth for the country and this mission would complement the Smart Cities initiative by creating smart villages."

Making urbanisation work

Rurban Mission was brain child of former president APJ Abdul Kalam who wanted that government should work to provide urban amenities to rural areas.

Way back in 2005 under PURA (Provision of Urban amenities in Rural Areas) concept workshops were held and ideas were discussed to conceptualise a modern real cluster with a population between one to three lakh to be created by integrating villages by a road.

The government with an ambition to transform rural areas to economically, socially and physically sustainable spaces, had approved the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) with an outlay of Rs. 5,142.08 crores.

The larger outcomes of the Mission are:

1. To bridge the rural-urban divide- economic, technological and those related to facilities and services.

2. Dispersing development in the region

3. Attracting investment in rural areas

4. Stimulating local economic development with emphasis on reduction of poverty and unemployment.
The government through the website MyGov had put up the task to design a logo and a tagline for the Rurban Mission.

To ensure an optimum level of development, fourteen components have been suggested as desirable for the cluster, which would include:

1. Skill development training linked to economic activities,

2. Agro Processing/Agri Services/Storage and Warehousing,

3. Digital Literacy,

4. Sanitation,

5. Provision of piped water supply,

6. Solid and liquid waste management,

7. Village streets and drains,

8. Street lights,

9. Fully equipped mobile health unit,

10. Upgrading school /higher education facilities,

11. Inter-village road connectivity,

12. Citizen Service Centres- for electronic delivery of citizen centric services/e-gram connectivity,

13. Public transport,

14. LPG gas connections.

Rurban Mission success stories from Gujarat:

Rurban Mission was implemented in 50 towns of Gujarat in 2011. The aim was to bridge the rural-urban divide and achieve balanced socio-economic development.

Various yojanas like E-gram Vishvagram Yojana, Tirth Gram Yojana, Nirmal Gujarat, Swachha Gram Swasth Gram Yojana, Jamin Sampadan Yojana, Gram Mitra Yojana, Sardar Patel Awas Yojana were integrated to form Rurban schemes.

The other objectives of Rurban Schemes were:

1. Reduce migration from rural to urban areas due to lack of basic services

2. Improve standard of living in the Rurban areas

3. Create livelihood/employment opportunities in Rurban areas

4. Improve the quality of services such as basic infrastructure, amenities and facilities

5. Reduce pressure on existing urban areas

6. Efficient mass transportation system to improve connectivity between urban and rural areas which can reduce commuting time and help in reducing migration

7. Improve Physical & Electronic Connectivity (Roads, Transport & Telecommunication)

As part of Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2011, a panel discussion on rurbanisation was organised for the first time.

It witnessed discussions on various topics pertaining to challenges to Rurbanisation, providing affordable healthcare facilities, rural economy and commodity exchanges, role of government and private sector in rurbanisation among others.

As way forward, the various suggestions received in each of these included:

1. Encouraging public private partnership in physical and social infrastructure development etc.

2. Alliance of GSWC with spot exchanges.

3. Collaborations with NGOs.

4. Capacity building and skill development initiatives.

Under the pilot project Randheja village of Gandhinagar district in Gujarat got a grant of 13.45 crores. The grant was utilised for gutter, water, roads, street lights, and other facilities similar to urban areas.

Dharmaj village in Gujarat had a population of around 11,000 during the year 2010. The villagers got water treated at a reverse osmosis plant to drink. They had a swimming pool too at an entertainment zone.

The villagers got cow fodder delivered at home and they could use medical facilities available at medical complex in village that provided super speciality treatment. Gujarati Non-Resident Indians and local government's efforts have made it possible.

Anandiben Patel too continued with the rurban mission in Gujarat after she took over as CM. she began various developmental and public welfare works at Dharampur taluka of Valsad district. She dedicated a museum built as a tribute to freedom fighter and former PM Morarji Desai. Also she dedicated a well-equipped sports complex in Valsad.

Under rurbanisation she has dedicated various developmental work to the state which include:

1. Dedicated 250-bed hospital with modern facilities

2. Dedicated Nursing School-Hostel for 120 students providing quality nursing education

3. Dedicated Boys Hostel where 100 boys belonging to scheduled castes will be provided free accommodation facilities

4. Dedicated underground drainage system in Kaprada, under Rurban Project that will benefit over 5000 people

5. Dedicated 48 police quarters, 24 each in Dharampur and Kaprada taluka under State Government's Police Awas Nigam

6. Extended assistance to milk cooperatives

7. Extended assistance to Sakhi Mandals

8. Distributed cycles to girl-students of class 9

9. Felicitated Nirmal Gram Puraskar-winner Sarpanch

10. Felicitated visually-impaired sportspersons for their performance in Olympics

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