Urban infra gaps huge opportunity for private players: Naidu

Urban InfrastructurePrivate sector and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) investment models are going to play a major role in bridging the urban infrastructure gaps, according to Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today.

Speaking at an event in New Delhi on February 4, 2016, Naidu said that the urban infrastructure sector offers Rs 73 lakh-crore investment opportunity for private sector and PPP investments over the coming years.

Substantiating his assertion, the minister pointed out that since there is lack of resources at both Central and state government levels; therefore, private sector investments and PPP are the alternative sources of resource mobilisation to meet the needs of urban infrastructure in the country.

Talking about the urban infrastructure gaps, Naidu said that 50 per cent of urban households still do not have water connections, only 69 litres per capita per day (lpcd) of water is being supplied in urban areas as against the norm of 135 lpcd, average water supply is only for 3 hours, sewerage network services cover only 12 per cent households and only 5 per cent of sewerage treatment capacity is available in urban areas.

These gaps hit the urban poor the most, and developing urban infrastructure accordingly leads to inclusive urban growth, besides enhancing productivity and quality of life, said Naidu. He noted that the Smart City Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Swachh Bharat Mission and Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana (Urban), which aim at ensuring urban infrastructure, offer huge investment opportunities.

Giving the break-up of Rs 73 lakh-crore required investment, he said over and above the support committed by the Central and state governments, ensuring basic urban infrastructure requires Rs 56 lakh crore, building 2 crore houses for urban poor needs another Rs 11 lakh crore and Rs 6 lakh crore for building 100 smart cities.

“Besides, 10 of the 20 smart cities announced last week have laid down clear roadmap for mobilising PPP investments of about Rs 9,000 crore,” he underlined.

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