New Delhi: The 4th Anniversary of the launch of Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) will be observed tomorrow. On 21st February 2016, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the Mission with the vision to deliver catalytic interventions to rural areas on the threshold of growth.
Undertaken by the Union Ministry of Rural Development, the SPMRM focuses on cluster-based integrated development through Spatial Planning. Rurban clusters are identified across the country’s rural areas showing increasing signs of urbanization – i.e. increase in population density, high levels of non-farm employment, presence of growing economic activities and other socioeconomic parameters.
The Mission aims to transform these Rurban clusters by stimulating local economic development, enhancing basic services, and creating well planned Rurban clusters. This would lead to holistic development of the region and encourage integrated and inclusive rural development.
Under the mission 300 Rurban clusters are envisaged to be developed in a timebound manner. Of these 296 clusters have been selected and number of Integrated Cluster Action Plans (ICAPs) approved are 288 and Detailed Project Reports of 240 have been approved.
SPMRM is a Core Centrally Sponsored Scheme, The Mission has two fund streams: (1) Convergence through various Central sector schemes, centrally sponsored schemes, State sector/ sponsored schemes/ programmes, CSR funds, and (2) Critical Gap Funds (CGF). It provides for CGF upto Rs. 30 crore per cluster for Non-tribal clusters, and upto Rs. 15 crore per cluster for Tribal and Hilly State clusters.
Currently, total Central Share funds released till date is Rs. 1,842.97 cr. Total investment approved in 288 ICAPs is Rs.28,075 cr with convergence being Rs.21,194 cr and Rs. 6,882cr. Of this, total expenditure, as on 30th November 2019, was Rs.6,689 cr of which Rs. 5,619 cr formed convergence and Rs. 1,071 cr under CGF. The CGF Funds release is expected to cross target of Rs. 1,200 crore by 31st March, 2020.
Infrastructure planned in these clusters includes provision of 24/7 water supply to all households, Solid and Liquid Waste Management facilities at the household and cluster level, provision of Inter and Intra village roads within the cluster, adequate street lights and public transport facilities using green technologies. Economic amenities in a cluster comprise various thematic areas in the sectors of Agri Services and Processing, Tourism, and Skill Development to promote Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
SPMRM clusters focus selecting interventions from the following components depending on locally felt need as identified during baseline survey:
(i) Sanitation, (ii) Piped Water Supply, (iii) Solid and Liquid Waste Management, (iv) Village Street Lights and Electrification, (v) Access to Village Streets With Drains, (vi) Inter Village Roads Connectivity, (vii) Public Transport, (viii) Skill Development Training Linked to Economic Activities, (ix) Agri-Services Processing and Allied Activities, (x) Health, (xi) Education, (xii) Digital Literacy, (xiii) Citizens Service Centres, (xiv) LPG Gas Connection, (xv) Environment, (xvi) Employment Generation and SHG Formation, (xvii) Tourism Promotion, (xviii) Sports Infrastructure, (xix) Social Infrastructure, (xx) Rural Housing, (xxi) Social Welfare.
Going forward, the Ministry of Rural Development is taking steps to expedite Mission’s on-ground progress. The Mission is seeking extension by 2 years to complete all the identified works. Ministry has received requests on several forums and communications from many States and elected officials to allocate more Rurban clusters. NITI Aayog has recently shared with Ministry that based on learning from the success of the Rurban clusters, a new and extended programme for over a 1,000 clusters in next 3 years may be planned.
In words of the Prime Minister, the objective is to develop the clusters with आत्मा गॉव की…., सुविधाएं शहर की…’ by providing all the basic amenities, infrastructure as well as economic development opportunities in an integrated and timebound manner.