Tag Archives: Urban and Regional Planning

Urban Decay and the Scope of Urban Regeneration

Human civilization is marked my the form and structures of the cities and town. The physical advancement of the cities represent the civilization of the era. Cities are dynamic symbol of growth, the point of civilization’s most exuberant vitality. Cities behave like living organisms. The internal dynamics of a city cause it to develop, growing outward until its supply of developable land diminishes.Urban Decay and Urban Regeneration

The city then starts getting intensely developed or starts recycling land, if the economy permits. A stagnant economy can start the aging process resulting in areas of the blight. The old cores of traditional of inner city areas of a city, which now developed as from the response to the culture, and lifestyle of the people are adversely affected.

At the present time, most cities are trying to take an international position and become global cities. On the other hand of our ever dual society, we find the cities that once were the symbol of society and nowadays lay abandoned and useless, suffering from serious problems of decay.

For these cities, good governance and good city planning are essential to survive and stop their decline. Nevertheless, the processes of urban decay have usually been dealt with an economic approach; the reversibility of urban decadence is linked to the restitution of economic value, improvement of the quality of life or to the amelioration of urban or social conditions.

Our increasingly urbanized civilization must pay attention to its Cities and Towns, which are growing in size and complexity. One of the major challenges of our time is how to ensure that cities have operationally and economically efficient services, which enhance their environment, their social and cultural values. Cities have always been centers of human activities. The founding, shaping, and growth of human agglomerations throughout history have been products of complex interactions of many forces.

In modern day, with advancement in the real estate development the growth poles are shifting outward and leaving the core of the town in position of getting further urban decay due to over crowding and decaying build environment. The urban local bodies do not get enough revenue from such areas and thus they don’t care to restore vitality in the area through augmentation of the infrastructure and conservation of the ancient and architectural heritage lying all around Delhi.

If we visit Delhi and go to the old Delhi then you will realize that pages of history getting unfolded in a systematic manner and you will feel that the history has once again got alive in the canvass of your mind. It is high time that city planning and maintenance authorities take immediate steps and be a part of the great tradition of the India culture and heritage. Try to revitalize the decaying urban core through measures of urban regeneration and renewal of the urban core.

Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small & Medium towns (UIDSSMT)

Massive urban growth has led to complex problems of inadequacy of basic urban services. About 21% of urban population is living in squatter settlements where access to the basic services is very poor or very substandard. About 80% of population leaving in urban areas though has access to safe drinking water but there are severe deficiencies in regard to equitable distribution of water. As per estimates about 46% of households have water borne toilets while only 36% are connected with public sewerage system. Almost half of the solid waste generated in towns & cities remains uncollected. The town roads are inadequate to meet the growing traffic demand which in turn leads to traffic congestion. Inadequacy of minimum basic services in urban areas has resulted in deterioration of quality of life. The infrastructure development could not keep pace with rate of urbanization. The Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and Municipal Corporation are primarily responsible for providing minimum basic services to the inhabitants. The ULBs/Municipal Corporations are unable to cope up with the increasing demand of providing quality urban services in towns and cities due to lack of resources. From time to time Government of India provided central assistance through number of centrally sponsored schemes like Accelerated Urban Water Supply Programme, Low Cost Sanitation Programme, Mega City Scheme, 3 National Slum Development Prorgramme, Swarna Jayanthi Shahari Rozgar Yojana, Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojna and Scheme for Integrated Development of Small and Medium Towns.

· Enhance public-private-partnership in infrastructural development and

· Promote planned integrated development of towns and cities.


As per UIDSSMT Guidelines, Urban Local Bodies are required to prepare the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) keeping in view the priorities of development and critical problem in the respective town and submit the same to the identified State Level Nodal Agency (SLNA). The SLNA is required to appraise the DPR either in house or through outsourcing or through State Level Technical Agencies. After appraisal, SLNA will submit the Appraised Reports to the State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC). The SLNA/SLSC will send copies of the Appraised Reports to all the members of the SLSC including Ministry and TCPO for their views 15 days in advance to the meeting of the SLSC. All the projects are considered by the SLSC and approved. On approval by SLSC, the minutes along with recommendation are sent by the State Govt. to the Ministry of Urban Development. On receipt of Minutes from SLSC the MOUD process the proposal for release of central assistance, sign the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for urban reforms with State Govt. and send the release proposal to Ministry of Finance. The sharing of funds is in the ratio of 80:10 between Central Government & State Government and the balance 10% could be raised by the nodal / implementing agencies including ULBs from the internal resources or from financial institutions. However, in case of cities / towns in North Eastern States and Jammu & Kashmir sharing of funds would be in the ratio of 90:10 between Central & State Government. Fifty percent of the Central share (Additional Central Assistance) is released on signing of Memorandum of Agreement with the State Government / State Level Nodal Agency, after ascertaining availability of state share. Balance 50% of the central share is released on submission of Utilization Certificates by nodal agency for 70% of funds (Central & State grants) released earlier.

GUIDELINES- Salient Features


2.1. Introduction

Urban infrastructure Development Scheme for Small & Medium Towns was launched on 3.12.2005 for improvement in urban infrastructure in towns and cities in a planned manner. It subsumed the erstwhile schemes of Integrated Development of Small and Medium Towns (IDSMT) and Accelerated Urban Water Supply Programme (AUWSP).

2.2. Objectives

The objectives of the scheme are to:

· Improve infrastructural facilities and help create durable public assets and quality oriented services in cities & towns

· Enhance public-private-partnership in infrastructural development and

· Promote planned integrated development of towns and cities.

2.3. Duration of the Scheme

The duration of the Scheme will be for seven years beginning from 2005-06.

2.4. Coverage

The scheme will apply to all cities/towns as per 2001 census, excepting cities/towns covered under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)

2.5. Components

The components for assistance under the scheme includes all urban infrastructure development projects including water supply and sewerage. Land cost is not financed except for acquisition of private land for schemes/ projects in the North Eastern States & hilly States viz. Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Jammu & Kashmir. 

Admissible Components:- The Scheme cover the following areas


i) Urban Renewal i.e redevelopment of inner (old) city areas [this would include items like widening of narrow streets, shifting of industrial/commercial establishments from non-conforming (inner-city) to conforming’ (outer-city) areas to reduce congestion, replacement of old and worn-out water pipes by new/higher capacity ones, renewal of sewerage/drainage/solid waste disposal systems, etc.

ii) Water Supply (including de-salination plants) and sanitation

iii) Sewerage and Solid Waste Management

iv) Construction and improvement of drains/storm water drains

v) Construction/Upgradation of roads, highways/expressways

vi) Parking lots / spaces on Public Private Partnership basis

vii) Development of heritage areas

viii) Prevention & rehabilitation of soil erosion/landslides only in case of Special Category States where such problems are common and,

ix) Preservation of water bodies.

Inadmissible Items

i) Power and telecommunication works,

ii) Rolling stock like buses and trams,

iii) Health and educational institutions,

iv) Urban Transport (MRTS, LRTS etc.)

v) Wage employment programme and staff component

vi) Maintenance works While sanctioning projects for slum improvement, State Level Sanctioning Committee would ensure that there has not been any duplication of efforts from other sources. For this purpose the implementing agencies are required to submit requisite certificate.

2.6. Financing Pattern

The sharing of funds would be in the ratio of 80:10 between Central Government & State Government and the balance 10% could be raised by the nodal/implementing agencies from the financial institutions. Implementing agencies may substitute internal resources for funds to be raised from financial institutions. However, in case of cities/towns in North Eastern States and Jammu & Kashmir sharing of funds would be in the ratio of 90:10 between Central & State Government.

2.7. Release of Central Assistance

Central assistance (grant) released will go directly to the nodal agencies identified by the State government as Additional Central Assistance. Release of Central share to nodal agency will be in two installments and will depend on availability of State share and submission of utilization certificates within 12 months of the closure of the financial year in accordance with the provisions of General Financial Rules. The criteria for release of funds will be as under:-

· 50% of the Central share will be released on signing of Memorandum of Agreement to the State nodal agency, after ascertaining availability of State share.

· Balance 50% of the central share would be released on submission of Utilisation Certificates by nodal agency for 70% of funds (Central & State grants) released earlier.

· State level nodal agency will, however, release funds in the following manner:

· 25% of Central grant on ascertaining availability of State share;

· Balance Central grant after release of State grant and after assessment of progress of implementation of reforms.

2.8 Revolving Fund

The grant from Government of India and State Government will flow to the nodal agency designated by State Government. The nodal agency will disburse central assistance to ULBs or para-statal agencies as the case may be, as soft loan or grant-cum-loan or grant. However, in case of sanction of loan or grant-cum-loan, the same may be sanctioned in such a manner that 25% of central and state grant put together is recovered and ploughed into Revolving Fund to leverage market funds for financing further investment in infrastructure projects. At the end of the Scheme period, the Revolving Fund may be graduated to a State Urban Infrastructure Fund.

2.9. Incentives

After due assessment of status of implementation of activities for which incentives are sought, State Level Sanctioning Committee may sanction additional central grant upto a maximum of 5% to incentivise implementing agencies as indicated below:

· 1.5% for preparation of Detailed Project Report

· 1.5% for training and capacity building relating to project/ scheme

· 1% for bringing about efficiencies in the projects

· 1% for adoption of innovative approaches and adoption of proven and appropriate technologies

2.10 State Level Nodal Agency

The State Government may designate any existing institution as nodal agency for implementation of the scheme. The nodal agency will be responsible for the following:-

I. Inviting project proposals from ULBs / Para-statal / Implementing Agencies.

II. Techno-economic appraisal of the projects either through in-house expertise or by outside agencies through outsourcing;

III. Management of funds received from Central and State Governments; Disbursement of the funds as per the financing pattern given in the guidelines;

IV. Furnishing of utilization certificates within 12 months of the closure of the financial year and quarterly physical & financial progress reports to the Ministry of Urban Development;

V. Maintenance of audited accounts of funds released to ULBs and implementing agencies. vi) Monitoring of implementation of reforms and infrastructure projects

2.11. Project Appraisal

Urban Local Bodies and implementing agencies including para-statal agencies, will submit detailed project reports to the designated State Level nodal agencies for appraisal. The State Level nodal agency will forward the appraised projects to MOUD, Planning Commission and TCPO so as to reach at least 15 days before the meeting of State Level Sanctioning Committee for enabling their representatives to offer their comments/views on the projects in the meeting.

2.12 State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC):

The composition of the State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC) may be as follows: Secretary, Urban Development / Municipal – Chairman

Admn./ Local Self Governments

Secretary, Finance, – Member

Secretary, Planning – Member

Secretary, Works / Engineer-in-Chief of PWD – Member

Director (Town & Country Planning)/ Chief Town Planner of the state – Member

Director, Municipal Administration – Member

Representative of M/o Urban Development – Member

Representative of I.F. Division, M/o Urban Dev. – Member

Representative of Planning Commission – Member

Representative of TCPO – Member

Representative of NCR Planning Board, New Delhi – Member

(in case of States of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan) Chief Executive of the State Level Nodal Agency – Member- Secretary

SLSC shall meet as often as required but shall meet at least thrice in a year and would examine and approve project reports, periodically monitor the progress ofsanctioned projects, review the implementation of the scheme, review progress of urban reforms.

2.13 Urban Reforms

As per the Scheme Guidelines State Governments have to commit to undertake urban reforms both at state level and Urban Local body level. The urban reforms to be carried out by the State Governments are as under:

(A) Mandatory Reforms

(I) Reforms at Urban Local Body / Parastatal

(i) Adoption of modern, accrual – based double entry system of accounting.

(ii) Introduction of system of e-governance.

(iii) Increase Property Tax collection to at least 85% within next seven years.

(iv) Collection of full cost of operation and maintenance or recurring cost within next seven years. However, cities / towns in North East and other special category States may recover at least 50% of operation & maintenance charges initially. These cities / towns should graduate to full O&M cost recovery in a phased manner.

(v) Internal earmarking within local body, budgets for basic services to the urban poor.

(vi) Provision of basic services to urban poor including security of tenure at affordable prices, improved housing, water supply, sanitation and ensuring delivery of other already existing universal services of the Government for education, health and social security

(II) Reforms at State Level

(i) Implementation of 74th Constitution Amendment Act. 1992

(ii) Repeal of Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act.

(iii) Reform of Rent Control Laws balancing the interests of landlords and tenants.

(iv) Rationalisation of Stamp Duty to bring it down to no more than 5% within next seven years.

(v) Enactment of Public Disclosure Law to ensure preparation of medium-term fiscal plan of ULBs / Parastatals and release of quarterly performance information to all stakeholders.

(vi) Enactment of Community Participation law to institutionalize citizen participation and introducing the concept of Area Sabha in urban areas.

(vii) Assigning or associating elected ULBs with “city planning function”. Over a period of seven years, transferring all special agencies that deliver civic services in urban areas to ULBs and creating accountability platforms for all urban civic service providers in transition.

(B) Optional Reforms (State and ULB / Para-statal level)

(i) Revision of bye-laws to streamline the approval process for construction of buildings, development of sites etc.

(ii) Simplification of conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes.

(iii) Introduction of Property Title Certification System in ULBs.

(iv) Earmarking at least 20-25% of developed land in all housing projects (both Public and Private Agencies) for EWS / LIG category with a system of cross subsidization.

(v) Introduction of computerized process of registration of land and property.

(vi) To make rain water harvesting mandatory in all buildings and adoption of water conservation measures.

(vii) Bye-laws for reuse of recycled water.

(viii) Administrative reforms

(ix) Structural reforms

(x) Encouraging Public Private Partnership.

All the mandatory and optional reforms shall be implemented by the State/ULB/Para-Statal within the Scheme period (list of reforms as mentioned in guidelines).

2.14 Monitoring

· Ministry of Urban Development will periodically monitor the scheme through designated Officer of this Ministry for each State/UT.

· State level nodal agency would send quarterly progress report to the Ministry of Urban Development through TCPO.

· SLSC would ensure quarterly monitoring of various projects sanctioned under the programme.

· A Monitoring Committee under the chairmanship of Joint Secretary (Urban Development) in the Ministry of Urban Development would monitor the progress every quarter.

· Secretary (UD) would review progress of the programme twice a year.

· TCPO will be responsible for preparing a status report on the scheme in consultation with MOUD every year (by 31st May).All the mandatory and optional reforms shall be implemented by the State / ULB / Para-Statals within the Scheme period.

2.15 Training and Capacity Building

The Central and State Governments will make continuous efforts for training and up-gradation of the skills of the personnel responsible for the project and the elected representatives. State Government may organize suitable training as well as capacity building programmes through reputed institutions in the field. The same will form part of DPR to be submitted by implementing agency.

2.16 Memorandum of Agreement (MoA)

Implementation of all mandatory and at least two optional reforms in each year of the Scheme by cities/towns will be a condition precedent to access central grant under the scheme. All the reforms (mandatory as well as optional) shall be required to be implemented during the scheme period i.e seven years. The State Governments/ State level nodal agencies will execute Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Government of India indicating their commitment to implement identified reforms. MoA would spell out specific milestones to be achieved for each item of reform. Signing of MoA will be a necessary condition to access Central assistance. ULBs/Para-statals will sign MoA with State Level Nodal Agency. The MoA shall be submitted along with the Detailed Project Report.

2.17 Outcome of the schemes

On completion of the Scheme period of seven years, it is expected that ULBs / Parastatals will achieve the following outcomes:-

· Modern and transparent budgeting, accounting, financial management systems, designed and adopted for all urban services and governance functions

· City-wide framework for planning and governance will be established and become operational

· All urban residents will be able to obtain access to a basic level of urban services

· Financially self-sustaining agencies for urban governance and service delivery will be established, through reforms to major revenue instruments

· Local services and governance will be conducted in a manner that is transparent and accountable to citizens

· e-Governance applications will be introduced in core functions of ULBs/para-statals resulting in reduced cost and time of service delivery processes.


It will be the responsibility of Urban Local Bodies/Para-statals and implementing agencies to keep an inventory of assets created and also to maintain and operate the assets and facilities created.

The implementing agencies at the ULB/Para-statal level will be required to open and maintain separate bank account for each project in a commercial bank for receipt and expenditure of all money to be received and spent. ULBs/Parastatal/implementing agencies should maintain registers for utilization of funds separately for Central and State share and loan from financial institutions. The nodal agency will maintain institution-wise and project-wise accounts under the scheme. Ministry of Urban Development in consultation with Ministry of Finance and Planning Commission may effect changes in the scheme guidelines, other than those affecting the financing pattern as the scheme progress, if such changes are considered necessary.