Expenditure on Urban Schemes Witnesses Remarkable Surge Since 2014, Says Housing Minister Hardeep S Puri

Expenditure on Urban Schemes Witnesses Remarkable Surge Since 2014, Says Housing Minister Hardeep S Puri

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs and Petroleum & Natural Gas, announced the launch of CITIIS 2.0 Challenge, which is set to complement the Smart Cities Mission and align with the Swachh Bharat Mission. Emphasizing the integration of innovation in waste management across city ecosystems, the Minister urged all 100 Smart Cities under the Smart Cities Mission to participate in the challenge. CITIIS 2.0 aims to collaborate with the Gobar Dhan mission for the generation of bio-fuels from organic waste.

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, approved CITIIS 2.0 on May 31, 2023. Minister Puri, speaking at the launch on November 16, 2023, assured the Smart Cities of the full support and guidance of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The event was attended by H.E. Shri Hervé Delphin, Ambassador of the European Union to India, and Shri Manoj Joshi, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

Acknowledging international support, Minister Puri expressed gratitude to partners for backing the CITIIS program and the Smart Cities Mission. The total funding for CITIIS 2.0 includes a loan of Rs. 1,760 crores (EUR 200 million) from AFD and KfW, along with a technical assistance grant of Rs. 106 crores (EUR 12 million) from the EU.

Highlighting the success of CITIIS 1.0, Minister Puri mentioned achievements such as the introduction of over 1,000 new electric vehicles, development of non-motorized transport corridors, creation of green open spaces, construction of affordable housing units, and the operationalization of educational and health facilities. The CITIIS project in Hubballi-Dharwad received the Smart City Award–2022 under the Innovation category.

Minister Puri underscored the significant growth and development in the urbanization sector in India, stating that the country is undertaking the world’s largest planned urbanization program. Since 2014, investments in urban development have increased tenfold to over 18 lakh crores compared to the 10-year period between 2004 and 2014.

Addressing the government’s efforts towards a circular economy in urban areas, Minister Puri highlighted achievements under the Swachh Bharat Mission, including the establishment of bio-methanation plants, waste-to-compost plants, waste-to-energy plants, material recovery facilities, construction and demolition waste management plants, and solid and liquid resource management plants.

CITIIS 2.0 is a crucial step in fulfilling India’s commitments to combat climate change. Aligned with the Prime Minister’s vision presented at COP26, CITIIS 2.0 will drive urban climate action, promote a circular economy, and enhance evidence-driven approaches to climate-sensitive planning and action in states and cities. The program, funded through external sources of INR 1,866 crore (EUR 212 million), will be managed by the CITIIS Program Management Unit at NIUA.

All 100 Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) under the Smart Cities Mission are eligible to seek assistance under CITIIS 2.0. The program aims to select up to 18 innovative projects promoting a circular economy with a focus on integrated waste management, providing a grant amount of up to 80% of the total project cost, or INR 135 Crore (90% for North-Eastern and Hill States). Additional funds, constituting 20% of the total project cost, will be mobilized by the selected city through own source funding by the State/Local Governments (10% for North-Eastern and Hill States).