Govt to resurrect Kalam’s dream proj in new avatar
Under the ‘Rurban Mission’, the Centre will offer financial aid to states to develop clusters in villages and convert them into model towns.
Speaking to Millennium Post, Union Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said: “In case of PURA, there was no government participation. But under this scheme, we will be offering financial aid to clusters as demanded by the states to develop them into model towns. PURA was launched in around 13 places, but not much progress was made and the reason for it was that the Central government’s support was totally lacking. But in case of Rurban Mission, the state governments will send across their requirements and accordingly the Centre will dispense aid to them by critical gap funding.”
Singh added that PURA, which was former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s dream project, was not successful because there was no involvement of the UPA government in its implementation.
Rurban Mission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project, aims to develop <g data-gr-id="26">cluster</g> of villages across the country into model towns. The initiative, lifted straight out of Gujarat, will focus on creating community assets and improving basic infrastructure such as roads, shelter, power and drinking water in rural belts.
“In place of PURA, we are going to have Rurban Mission, under which a cluster of villages, having a population up to 50,000, will be formed and later will be developed into a model town. As per the criteria, the group of villages may vary from two to three to 10-15 based on the population. All basic amenities will be provided in these model towns, including malls,” the Minister said.
He added: “A sum of nearly Rs 5,430 crore has been earmarked for the implementation of Rurban Mission across India. At present, we are giving final touches to the project, after which it will be sent to the Cabinet for the final nod. In the next five years, 300 centres will be developed. In the first year of its implementation, we will take up 100 clusters, which will be developed and in the next two years, all 300 clusters will be in place.” Singh said: “There is also a component of critical gap funding, in which the states will identify the clusters, which need to be developed and can ask for central aid. In such a scenario, we will assess their requirement and sanction the aid.”