An Overview of the AMRUT Scheme | Explained

  • By 2047, more than half of India’s population will be urban. The AMRUT initiative, established in 2015 and modified in 2021, addresses urban infrastructure requirements.

Achievements of AMRUT Mission:

  • Financial utilisation: As of May 19, 2024, ₹83,357 crore has been disbursed under the AMRUT system, which includes payments from the Central Government, States, and Cities.
  • Infrastructure Achievements:
  • Tap Connections: Tap connections have been installed in 58,66,237 houses, assuring steady water supply.
  • sewage Connections: 37,49,467 houses have been linked to the sewage system, hence enhancing sanitation and hygiene.
  • Parks Development: 2,411 parks have been created to improve urban green spaces and recreational places.
  • LED Street Lights: 62,78,571 LED street lights have been replaced, increasing energy efficiency and providing better urban illumination.

Present Challenges:

  • Public Health Crisis: Every year, over 2,00,000 people die as a result of insufficient water, sanitation, and hygiene. As of 2016, India has a disease burden 40 times greater per person than China due to inadequate water and sanitation.
  • Water and sanitation issues: Large amounts of untreated wastewater enhance disease susceptibility. Major reservoirs are just 40% full, endangering water availability for drinking, farming, and hydroelectricity.21 large cities are expected to run out of groundwater shortly. 

Causes of the existing shortcomings:

  • Non-overall Approach: The programme had a project-oriented rather than a holistic approach, failing to include overall urban planning.
    • Cities, for example, did not play a substantial role in the scheme’s conception or execution, diminishing its efficacy.
    • Second, the governance was directed by bureaucrats and business interests, with limited participation from elected local governments, which violated the 74th constitutional amendment. 
  • Inadequate Water Management: The strategy does not account for local climate, rainfall patterns, or existing infrastructure, resulting in poor water and sewage management.
    • Urban design became controlled by real estate development interests, resulting in the removal of water bodies, interrupted stormwater flows, and inadequate drainage.
    • Inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene continue to be major public health issues, resulting in a high disease load and death rates.

Way Forward:

  • Comprehensive Approach: Transition from project-oriented to comprehensive urban planning, which incorporates all elements of infrastructure development.
    • Ensure that municipal governments and local entities actively participate in planning and execution, reflecting local requirements and conditions.
    • Enhance the role of local elected officials in decision-making processes to promote accountability and community participation.
  • Nature-Based Solutions: Implement sustainable urban design, such as protecting and rehabilitating water bodies and green spaces.
    • Consider climate and rainfall patterns when managing water and sewage to improve efficiency and resilience.
    • enhance water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure to lower disease burdens and enhance public health outcomes.

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