Millennium Post

Realty industry welcomes PM’s smart cities mission

Modi on Thursday launched three projects -- 100 smart cities, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Housing for All -- which will entail an investment of over Rs 3 lakh crore in the next five years. “The urban reforms drive will provide the much-needed fillip for infrastructure development across India. Investments of more than Rs 4 lakh crore planned in next five years under the three schemes will provide a strong impetus for growth in more than 250 allied industries,” SARE Homes Managing Director David Walker said.

According to DLF whole-time Director Rajeev Talwar, these programs will generate employment opportunities.

“A comprehensive policy on urban rejuvenation was overdue because cities have emerged as growth engines for our economy. They provide employment opportunities to migrating rural population and the move of the government will provide tremendous relief to this segment,” he said.

The Smart City project seeks to enhance <g data-gr-id="36">quality</g> of life in 100 selected <g data-gr-id="38">cities,</g> while AMRUT seeks to ensure <g data-gr-id="37">basic</g> infrastructure for 500 cities with a population of above one lakh.

Echoing similar views, <g data-gr-id="52">realty</g> apex body Credai’s President for NCR, Manoj Gaur said, “today India is in dire need of an infrastructural push. Development of smart cities and rejuvenation of existing cities would certainly revamp their current status and would help India relish its ambition of housing for all.” He said the initiative will also help comparatively smaller cities mark their presence on <g data-gr-id="57">development</g> radar. 

According to KPMG India’s Partner (infrastructure and government services), <g data-gr-id="53">Jaijit</g> Bhattacharya, building urban infrastructure is urgently required in order to make the economy efficient. “The process of building this urban infrastructure would lead to an explosive growth in the economy as the execution of the vision would entail <g data-gr-id="54">large scale</g> consumption of cement, metals, plastics, materials and services. It would also lead to innovations and creation of spin-off technologies that would surely make India a global player in building future cities,” he said.

Even as the industry hailed the decision, it also raised concerns about the challenges involved in making the schemes successful.

“The main challenge for state governments and urban local bodies is to get things going by making effective use of huge investments, new technology and innovative methods in rejuvenating our cities,” Omaxe Chief Executive Mohit Goel said.

Voicing similar concerns, <g data-gr-id="49">Olympeo</g> Infrastructure Chairman and Managing Director Prabhat Ranjan said, “this puts a lot of responsibility on the state and city administration to come up with a comprehensive and clear master plan. Since <g data-gr-id="50">huge</g> emphasis is given to strengthen local bodies, the perennial problem of corruption, capability and accountability at that level needs to be addressed.”
He further said <g data-gr-id="83">clear</g> manifestation of interest subvention schemes along with the thrust to develop urban infrastructure would be a boon for <g data-gr-id="41">realty</g> sector. 

Urban schemes set to create 34 lakh jobs
Urban development initiatives - AMRUT, Smart Cities Mission and Housing for All - unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday are expected to help create 34 lakh jobs, industry experts said. The initiative to build 100 smart cities across the country is a “decisive step” and will create a significant multiplier effect for over 250 core and ancillary sectors including infrastructure, logistics and modern retail, Assocham President Rana Kapoor said. “Sectors like housing, transport, sanitation and power supply will require significant investment. An increase in infrastructure investment equivalent to 1 <g data-gr-id="97">per cent</g> of gross domestic product (GDP) can create an additional 34 lakh jobs,” he added. Five hundred cities will be developed under AMRUT scheme. 

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