Improving Urban Infrastructure

Date01 June 2017
Published date01 June 2017
AuthorRajiv Gauba
Subject MatterArticles
Indian Journal of Public
63(2) 165–175
© 2017 IIPA
SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/0019556117699734
1 Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, New Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
Rajiv Gauba, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, Bungalow No. 12,
Mother Teresa Cresent, New Delhi 110011, India.
Improving Urban
Rajiv Gauba1
The investment needs in basic infrastructure that determine the pace of devel-
opment of cities are considerably higher than the quantum of flow of funds.
The key indicators of the major urban services reveal that there is a failure
to achieve even moderate success in service delivery. The components of the
traditional approach to financing urban services have been grants and loans from
government-owned financial institutions on basis of guarantees. The urban local
bodies (ULBs) in India are weak in terms of capacity to raise both resources and
financial autonomy. Given the major risks involved, private sector has also largely
stayed away from urban infrastructure projects, until very recently. These have
resulted in huge gap between the demand and supply of urban basic services.
The present government has launched several Missions to promote urban devel-
opment in the country through strict adherence to reforms to strengthen finan-
cial and governance capacities of ULBs and participating in competition at state
and city levels to qualify for accessing resources apart from other grants-based
missions. In this context, the article discusses the investment requirements, pro-
gress of programmatic interventions for urban development in India and their
financing mechanism. The article focuses on recently completed Jawaharlal Nehru
National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and the newly launched National
Urban Mission programmes.
Urban infrastructure, innovative financing, urban missions, smart cities
India has emerged as a fast-growing economy during the past decades. Its infra-
structure development has, however, not kept pace with the growth in the rest
of the economy thereby becoming a constraint for continuing the rapid growth
process. Though the share of expenditure on basic infrastructure in recent years
has increased from 13.8 per cent during the financial year 2011–2012 to 21.5

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