Cities are struggling with huge infrastructure deficits: congestion, lack of affordable housing, poor sewage facilities, inadequate water supply.
- Delhi is choking on toxic air. Bangalore is submerged in garbage. Chennai is parched & Mumbai is running out of space.
- Things are worse in Tier II, III and IV cities, where adherence to norms and standards is poor and monitoring and punishment for violations, non-existent.
- Essentially, JNNURM has been rebranded as the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transportation.
- JNNURM was stymied by issues like land acquisition and the incapacity of city officials to handle large projects.
- India is the only G-20 country that does not have empowered or elected mayors, despite the 74th Amendment.
- More local autonomy is a must if cities are to fix themselves and invest wisely in creating the infrastructure they need.