AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) is a mass urban transformation programme in the lines of JNNURM. It was started after the Narendra Modi government came to power and launched in 2014. There has been numerous studies enumerating the development of cities under both programmes (JNNURM and AMRUT) and they all have pointed out despite envisioning providing ‘Basic Services for Urban Poor’ and other poverty alleviation schemes like affordable housing, the very little has been implemented in the reality. There are bottle necks like
- Urban Local Bodies delay in drafting the plan
- Plan approval process gets delayed – different layers of administration like – MMRDA approval, state nodal agencies of AMRUT, etc., Metro Transport clearances, Environmental clearances
- Poor accountability in terms of commissioning the projects. PPP model is used for most of the projects and the terms of accountability between the private players and urban local bodies is not defined and clear. (Baud et al, 2013)
- Not having equipped staff to carry out required studies on environment and social impact assessments. Commissioning private players to do the same as well. For example., development of CDP, 2007 was commissioned to private players
- Not using enough technologies like GIT (Geographical Information Technologies) to assess the urban environment and its impact on the other social dimensions in terms of deciding what activities / projects are the need of the hour.
- Most importantly, all these programmes stress about people’s participation in the decision making. And in the ground level, very little effort is made by the administration to involve people. Baud et al and V S Pancholi in their reports elaborate on this concern. The coverage of door to door survey questionnaire conducted is very minimal. Even in the survey’s the questions are mostly close ended with many options given and people are asked to choose one. Or ‘Yes or No type’ questions. There is no intention to engage the people. Forming a body comprising of experts and laymen alike to participate in the meetings of KDMC is not there. The body comes together for a very brief period of time and gets disintegrated. (Baud et al). Survey questionnaire available in the KDMC website is also of the same nature described above. And access to them is only available to technically equipped middleclass who do not care about the development and not the first hand sufferers. The survey results are also not available in the public domain.
So far the KDMC lists the following projects under AMRUT scheme. All of them are under Solid Waste Management Department.
|Name of Work||Work Order Date||Status of Work|
|Designing, Providing, Constructing and Commissioning 10.00 M.T. capacity biogas power plant at Umbarde in K.D.M.C. Area, with Operation, maintenance and repairs for 5 years after Commissioning of plant||23/03/2016||Plant erection completed Trial run started|
|Scientific Closure with Bio Remediation of Adharwadi Dumping Site||17/04/2017||Work status as per scope|
|Designing, Providing, Constructing and Commissioning 10.00 M.T. capacity biogas power plant at Ayre, Dombivli (East) in K.D.M.C. Area, with Operation, maintenance and repairs for 5 years after Commissioning of plant||11/11/2016||Plant Completed and Trial run started|
|Design, Construction, Development of Integrated Solid Waste Management including Sanitary Landfill along with O & M at reserved site Barave||17/04/2017||Proposal pending due to Environment Clearance|
|Design, Construction, Development of Integrated Solid Waste Management including Sanitary Landfill along with O & M at reserved site Umbarde||17/04/2017||Proposal pending for Environment Clearance|
Source: KDMC Website
The last 2 projects in the above table, “Design, Construction, Development of Integrated Solid Waste Management including Sanitary Landfill along with O & M at reserved site Umbarde and Barave” has been in the pipeline for many years. It is related to the closure of Adharwadi dumping ground which has reached it’s capacity many years ago. It has caught fire twice in 2016 and twice in 2018, as latest as November 2018. The settlements surrounding the site are mostly housing societies along with one slum colony. The citizens have been complaining and protesting for the closure and shifting the site. In 2016, the Bombay High Court even passed an order to halt new building construction proposal in the area until the problem was resolved. The residents of the reserved sites identified – Umbarde and Barave – also protest against the dumping yard being shifted to their locality. The status in the website says the project has been halted for want of environment clearance. But no Environment Impact Assessment report on Umbarde and Barave could be found in public domain. The citizens are opposing the movement. The news reports are saying, finally the work has begun for the closure of dumping site. Where will it be moved is still a question mark. If they get the clearance, it will probably be moved to Barave and Umbarde. Considering the protesting residents and non-availability of data, it shows the inefficiency of the administration to inform the people, explain the pros and cons of the shift and take their view into consideration.
Growing population of Kalyan always poses a big hurdle in ensuring water supply to all. Most of the urban projects under various schemes were concentrated mainly on water supply and sanitation. Recently, around July 2018, while the notified area of 27 villages under KDMC are currently fighting for a separate municipal council, KDMC have received funds for a major water supply scheme to fend for the water requirements of the notified area under AMRUT scheme.
Considering more than 40% of the population living in slums and slum like conditions, the complexity of water supply and sanitation is even more visible. Also in both JNNURM and AMRUT, and in the City Development Plans of KDMC the plans for rehabilitation and providing basic services for the poor has not been mentioned to the extent that it can be realised at the ground level.
- van Dijk, T.K. (2011a) Agents of Change and Obstruction: Municipal Councilors and Urban d/Development in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Human Geography: A New Radical Journal 4(2), 31-47.
- van Dijk, T.K. (2011b) Networks of Urbanization in Two Indian Cities.
Environment and Urbanization: ASIA 2 (2) 203-218.
- (2013). The Development of Kalyan Dombivili; Fringe City in a Metropolitan Region. Change 2 Sustain, City Report .