The Andhra Pradesh government has been adopting a focused approach to fill the widening gaps in infrastructure across the state and to meet the challenges posed by a fast-expanding urban geography and demography, said a state minister. The government has drawn up a two-pronged action plan to build up the requisite urban infrastructure and fulfil the citizens’ needs, with the first phase expected to be completed in the next two years. “The prime focus is to meet the National Service-Level Benchmarks (SLBs) by improving the key service-level indicators for delivering the desired outcome to the public,” Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development P Narayana said.
“We have carried out a detailed exercise in terms of the sector, indicator and urban local body to identify the existing infrastructure, the total requirements and the gaps that need to be filled to meet the national SLBs,” he said. The government has identified major sectors like drinking water supply, sewerage management, storm water drainage, roads, solid waste management, urban housing, urban greenery and smart LED street lighting for implementing the plans on priority.
The Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department has estimated that a sum of Rs 1.02 lakh crore would be required to accomplish the mission over the next few years, the minister told PTI. “In the first phase, we will implement the Critical Infrastructure Investment Plan covering all the 110 ULBs in the state, at a cost of Rs 10,742 crore.”
“Under this, the newly-developed areas in ULBs will be provided critical infrastructure like piped drinking water supply, sewerage lines and roads. As towns and cities in the state are expanding in size, the demand for critical infrastructure is high,” Narayana pointed out. The state government would borrow funds from banks and other sources to meet the requirement as majority of the ULBs are starved of cash.
“We are also converging various schemes like AMRUT, Smart Cities Mission, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes sub-plans besides sourcing funds from externally lending agencies like World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Asian Development Bank,” the minister elaborated.
Under CIIP, 9.95 lakh households will be provided drinking water connections while 13,132 km of storm water drains will be constructed. About 5,482 km length of permanent roads (cement concrete) will also be laid. The government aims to complete the CIIP in the next two years. Subsequently, the Eventual Infrastructure Investment Plan would be taken up at a cost of Rs 17,692 crore to “bridge the infrastructure gaps in the long term,” the municipal minister added.