Integrated Command and Control Centers already Operational in Pune, Surat, Vadodara & Producing positive results: Hardeep S Puri
The Integrated Command & Control Center projects which enable fast and efficient citizen service delivery in an integrated way, are being developed in 20 cities and are already operational in cities like Pune, Surat, Vadodara, producing positive results. 10 more cities have issued tenders for developing command and control centers in their cities. This was stated by Hardeep S Puri, Union Minister of State with Independent Charge in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, while addressing a National workshop on Accelerating Implementation of Urban Missions: AMRUT and SMART CITIES. Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary in the Ministry, Commissioners, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Principal Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development Departments of States were present at the workshop.
Informing about the Smart Cities Challenge, Puri stated that it promoted an increase in participatory activities and means of citizen engagement at the city and neighbourhood levels. More than 24 lakh citizens were consulted through MyGov website and almost 120 lakh through other means. “The challenge is to conduct citizen consultation during implementation. The officials at city, state & centre levels, have put in tireless efforts from conceptualization to roll out and implementation of these missions”, he added.
The AMRUT and Smart Cities Missions can be seen as inter-linked programmes where AMRUT follows a project-based approach and Smart Cities Mission an area-based strategy. Although area based approach is not new, the way Smart City is conceptualized, it is meant to set examples that can be replicated both within and outside the Smart City. It is, therefore, expected to catalyse creation of similar Smart Cities in various parts of the country, Puri further added.
Providing details about the progress made under AMRUT, the Minister informed that the city-wise service level improvement plans (SLIP) for all the 500 cities and State Annual Action Plans (SAAP) for all the 36 States/UTs with a project investment worth Rs. 77,640 crores were approved, much ahead of time to enable timely planning and execution. Under AMRUT, 215 projects worth Rs. 157 crores have already been completed, 1606 projects worth Rs. 32,459 crores are at various stages of implementation and about 1800 projects worth Rs. 23, 568 crores are under tendering stage.
Sh Puri also provided the details of the three-tiered approach being followed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for states and cities to implement the reform Agenda as follows: “First Tier: the performance grant of the 14th finance commission of about Rs 18000 Crore is used to accelerate on-going key financial and service level reforms in cities. The 14th Finance Commission gave recommendations for assured transfers to Local Bodies for a period of five years (2015-16 to 2019-20). A total of Rs. 87143.80 crores will be transferred to Municipalities during the award period. These grants are being transferred in two parts – Basic Grant and Performance Grant (in the ratio 80:20). We have revised the conditions in order to ensure that cities become financially self-sufficient. Second Tier: AMRUT Reforms consisted of launch of 11 Urban Management and governance reforms comprising of 54 milestones. These reforms have been achieved by all the States / cities. Hence we added five more to the new list of AMRUT New Reforms which included Value Capture Financing, credit rating and Municipal bonds, municipal cadre professionalization, trust and verify approach for frontline services like building permissions and land titling. Third Tier: Incentive fund with a focus on ‘rapid’ and transformational reforms along the three main pillars: governance, planning, and financing focusing on strengthening devolution, own source revenue mobilization, and flexible urban planning. These reforms will enhance downstream accountability mechanisms like making local ward committees responsible for O&M of projects etc. The focus is on big ticket policy reforms at the state level as a priority and also to strike a balance by including an aligned set of reform for cities (more at operational, implementation level). The idea also is to avoid any duplicity with the AMRUT or CFC reforms as much as possible. The plan is to design the incentive mechanism for these big ticket reforms as a challenge where in states and cities compete against each other and are incentivised for their performance in reform implementation.”
Mishra informed that this workshop aims to provide a platform to learn from each other’s experiences of success and challenges faced to accelerate the progress of work. It will allow cities to leapfrog in implementation. The focus of the daylong workshop is on three things – implementation, implementation and implementation, he added. Providing details of the sessions he informed that the focus of the panel discussions is on
· Digitally Integrated Smart Solutions through Command and Control Centers
· Street Re-design and Smart Roads
· Development of public domain such as squares/ public spaces/ and rejuvenation of lakes
· Impactful projects, and Implementation of AMRUT