in shanties in the heart of the city rather than shift to the periphery and live in good houses. All that was required was a free bus shuttle to put these units into use. This has not been done and the houses lie vacant.
In sum, the reasons for the limited success of JnNURM, one of the flagship programmes of the UPA government are: lack of long-term city-level plan, inadequate capacity of municipalities, haphazard approach to taking up projects, failure to undertake crucial reforms and little or no involvement of the professional expertise available in the planning and design academia.
While funds were allocated, their utilisation was way below target, and at the end of the mission period, several projects are yet to be completed. The progress being poor, the Central government has extended the mission period by two years, only to complete pending projects.
TOWARDS JNNURM 2.0?
There is a thinking that a JnNURM phase 2 should be launched, but after 2014 after the extension period of the current one. What form should this new avatar take?
First, all organisations at the local level need to be closely examined in terms of staff requirements and their capacities need to be enhanced before starting any mission of such a huge scale. Most urban local bodies are grossly lacking in architects and town planners. In most, there are none. Vacant positions need to be filled, new positions need to be created. There is a need to attract and retain well-qualified technical staff throughout the new mission period.
Second, rather than preparing quick fix CDPs, the time-tested master plan preparation has to be strengthened. Master plans are comprehensive documents with a statutory force and envisage requirements in the long term. It should be ensured that master plans are prepared and projects should emanate from them and nowhere else. The JnNURM should become the funding mechanism for implementing a master plan.
Third, the reforms taken up in great haste need to be taken to their logical conclusion. There is little awareness on the need and purpose of reforms. Most citizens are not aware of