Implementation of urban missions, including Swachh Bharat, will continue to be the focus area of the new year, says Urban Development and HUPA Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who has set a target of achieving enhanced outcomes within stipulated time frames.
2016 remained a hectic year for his ministries which succeeded in getting the Real Estate Bill passed in Parliament and giving momentum to Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas, getting close to half-way mark of mission targets in constructing toilets.
“On the whole, 2016, the first year of execution of new missions has been encouraging. We would like this momentum even to be further enhanced so that intended outcomes are realised within stipulated time frames,” he told PTI.
He said new urban missions, except Swachh Bharat Mission, were launched in 2015 after year-long “extensive consultations” with states, urban Local Bodies and other stakeholders.
“City governments were required to adopt new approaches in place of the earlier business as usual attitude. They rose to the occasion to a large extent and that is evident in the pace of implementation,” he said.
Naidu said there was a “new-found spirit of competition” among states and cities is giving “positive results”, adding the ease of doing business in urban areas is “improving rapidly”.
The year saw selection of 60 cities in three rounds for financial assistance from the Centre to develop them as smart cities.
Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas got close to half- way mark of mission targets in building toilets during this year.
As against the target of building over 66 lakh individual household toilets, about 27.82 lakh have already been built and construction of another 21.43 lakh toilets is nearing completion as the mission gained momentum in 2016.
While 5.08 lakh community and public toilet seats are required to be built by 2019, already 1.07 lakh toilet seats have been built so far and construction of another 1.28 lakh toilet seats in nearing completion.