Ministry of Urban Development Current Affairs
Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) has inked MoU with National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) for redevelopment of 10 railway stations across the country on global standards.
The identified stations to be taken up initially by NBCC, a PSU of Urban Development Ministry for redevelopment are Tirupati, Nellore, Puducherry, Sarai Rohilla (Delhi), Madgaon, Lucknow, Gomtinagar, Kota, Thane (New) and Ernakulam. RLDA is an arm of the Indian Railways for commercial exploitation of rail land.
As per the MoU, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be formed at the national level as a Joint Venture (JV) company between RLDA and NBCC on 50:50 shareholding basis. The SPV in turn will enter into City Support Agreements (CSA) with respective cities for the redevelopment of stations and commercial development on Railway land in alignment with the Smart City Plans of respective cities.
RLDA will lease out the land to the SPV for a fixed lease period of up to 45 years at a nominal token cost for development and NBCC as Project Management Consultant will execute the project work on behalf of SPV.
Earnings from the commercial development of land parcels at stations will be utilized to redevelop the stations for creating necessary infrastructure and better passenger amenities. The surplus earnings will go to RLDA which would in turn would be remitted to Zonal railways.
The entire revenue from lease revenues from built up spaces will be deposited in an SPV’s ESCROW account which is to be managed by a Committee to be formed.
The Indian Railways has embarked on an ambitious project to redevelop 403 stations with the participation of private players, public sector and foreign agencies. It has taken up this redevelopment programme of stations in a big way by adopting a multi-pronged strategy. It has chosen PPP model and is also roping in varied agencies to execute the project namely its own PSUs, other Central government PSUs, foreign countries through government-to-government (G2G) cooperation and state governments. Earlier in October 2016, MoU was also signed between the Railway Ministry and Urban Development Ministry for integrated planning for redevelopment of railway stations in the cities included in the Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT schemes.
The urban development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu has launched its first liveability index which will rank the country’s 116 major cities on the basis of the quality of life.
The index named ‘City Liveability Index’ will cover cities with a population above one million, including the capital cities.
The index will help cities to analyse where they stand in terms of the quality of life. It will help them to come up with interventions required to improve it.
The index will assess cities based on a comprehensive set of 79 parameters such as availability of roads, education, healthcare, mobility, employment opportunities, emergency response, grievance redressal, pollution, availability of open and green spaces, cultural and entertainment opportunities etc.
The rankings based on the index would be released in 2018.
Soon, the government will select the agency for undertaking the assessment and data collection for the rankings would be completed in the next 6 months.
Incentives to States
The urban development minister has disbursed Rs500 crore as an incentive to 16 states that have performed well in implementing urban reforms during 2016-17.
Andhra Pradesh has topped the list of 16 states with the highest score in implementing urban schemes. The second place has been occupied by Odisha which is followed by Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kerala, Goa, Mizoram, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
While ranking, the progress achieved by these states in terms of reforms like e-governance, an audit of accounts, tax revision policies, extent of tax revenue collection, energy and water audit, establishing state level financial intermediaries for resource mobilisation and credit rating was taken into account.
Further, it has been proposed by the government to increase the incentive fund to Rs 10,000 crore for the next three years to promote next generation urban reforms.