Home News India’s satellite town project behind schedule

India’s satellite town project behind schedule

New Delhi, India: The pilot scheme to develop satellite towns around seven mega cities in India will spill over to the 12th Plan period (2013 to 2018), as against the original deadline of April 2012. Innovative features such as GIS, energy audit and disaster management are integral parts of the satellite town development project, Business Standard reported.

According to the report, the Urban Development Ministry, Government of India, is in the process of writing to the Planning Commission to seek more time for executing the satellite town project. Depending on the success of the pilot scheme around seven mega cities, a broad-based project with a national perspective is likely to be considered.

The towns being covered under the pilot project are Pikhuwa (in Uttar Pradesh State), Vikarabad (in Andhra Pradesh State), Sonepat (in Haryana State), Vasai-Virar (in Maharashtra State), Sriperumbudur (in Tamil Nadu State), Sanand (in Gujarat State) and Jyoti Basu Nagar (in West Bengal State).

Although the approved GOI assistance for the scheme is INR 500 crore, the outlay is expected to go up significantly once it is listed under the 12th Plan. According to a ministry official, “keeping in view the response of state governments and the urban local bodies, the scheme may be extended to next five-year plan and it is also possible that more satellite towns will be covered under it.”

Initially, the urban infrastructure development scheme for satellite towns was meant to be around cities with population of more than a million, at a project cost of over INR 10,000 crore. There would be around 50 cities with million plus population by the year end, estimates suggest.

Subsequently, the scope of the project was cut down to just a pilot for a satellite town each around the seven mega cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.

While the GOI grant will be 80 percent of the total expenditure, states and local municipalities will contribute 10 percent each of the cost. The scheme was approved in 2009, after which states were asked to nominate towns of their choice. After states named the satellite towns of their choice, work started on the project in 2010-11.

Source: Business Standard