The Union government will soon launch the Aspirational Cities Programme in line with the successful Aspirational District Programme.
The new scheme will cover 250 cities, which are at the bottom of the ladder in terms of development and will aim to quickly and effectively transform them and improve the living standards of people.
According to sources, the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry is finalising the contours of the programme. India has 4,700 cities and most of them are small ones.
In September this year, the Uttar Pradesh government rolled out its own Aspirational City Programme in 100 most backward urban local bodies (ULBs) with a population of 20,000 to one lakh.
The state’s scheme aims to ensure holistic and sustainable development through competitive approaches by improving the municipal service delivery, economic opportunities, and quality of life of all citizens.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri launched the CITIIS 2.0 programme, in an effort to combat the challenges posed by climate change.
The programme will supplement climate initiatives of the central government and drive investments into urban climate action through competitively selected projects promoting a circular economy with focus on integrated waste management.
The programme will be funded through an external funding of Rs 1,866 crore.
All 100 special purpose vehicles under Smart Cities Mission are eligible to seek assistance under the programme, and 18 innovative projects promoting circular economy with a focus on integrated waste management shall be selected for assistance.
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