Urban Transformation – Smart Cities, AMRUT, etc.

False urban rural binary


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: AMRUT

Mains level: Paper 1-Urbanisation and issues

The article brings out the issues in the rural-urban binary, which leads to the disparity in the allocation of resources to the urban areas.

Congestion and health issues in cities

  • The congestion in large cities has turned out to be their worst enemy during this pandemic.
  • Congestion is most evident in slums in large cities and poses a grave health and environmental challenges.
  • Yet, the Centre’s allocation for the rural component of the Swachh Bharat Mission is about seven times more than for urban areas.
  • Class I cities have 1.4 beds per 1,000 people. (with the population more than 1 lakh)
  • However, the urban support under the National Health Mission is just three per cent of the total allocation, while 97 per cent of the funds are set aside for rural areas.

Issues with the present urban development programs

  • The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (2005-2014) allocated the bulk of funds to large cities: 70 per cent to large cities and 30 per cent to smaller towns.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and the Smart Cities Mission, focus on Class I cities.
  • Both these schemes provide funds for the more developed cities that already have relatively better infrastructure.
  • But these schemes overlook the nearly seven crore people who live in smaller towns.
  • These are towns that lag behind in services and infrastructure as compared to the big cities.

Consider the question “The rural-urban binary has led to the policy formulation in which there is a huge disparity in the allocation of resources and attention on the urban area. Comment.”


The pandemic has forced us to reflect on the unequal and unplanned development of urban settlements and the absence of infrastructure to provide for the teeming millions.  The challenges of urban poverty and congestion cry for more attention, more government support.

Original article:


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