Mumbai, Varanasi, Surat, and Visakhapatnam have been selected as four cities to be developed under the Growth Hub programme, as part of the target to become a developed nation.
Viksit Bharat aims for India to be a $30 trillion economy by 2047. Urban centres are important engines of growth for the development of any economy.
NITI Aayog has identified these four cities on a pilot basis for the Growth Hub programme.
The Growth Hub programme is an initiative to develop city regions in a planned manner to achieve the economic target by 2047.
It aims to develop a template for devising economic growth strategy for identified city regions across the country and prepare a roadmap for achieving the same which, inter alia, includes the identification of key growth drivers, enablers, and interventions.
The cities have been selected based on geographic spread, size and scale criteria.
The city regions have been defined as a group of districts which are economically and socially adjacent, related, or co-dependent.
The four city regions selected on a pilot basis are Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Varanasi, Surat, and Visakhapatnam.
The city region of Varanasi includes districts of Varanasi, Prayagraj, Azamgarh, Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Jaunpur, Chandauli, Mau, Ballia, Bhadohi, and Ghazipur.
The city region of Visakhapatnam includes districts of Visakhapatnam, Anakapalle, Vizianagram, Srikakulam, Parvathipuram Manyam, Alluri Sitharama Raju, Kakinada, and East Godavari.
Given the scale of the project, an institutional mechanism has been put in place wherein a National Steering Committee chaired by CEO, NITI Aayog, has been set up involving officials from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and domain experts.
In addition, each state (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh) has constituted a steering committee for strategic interventions and overall monitoring under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary. States have also constituted designated cells for operational matters.
Thus far, meetings have already been held with concerned district collectors and state government officials to get their input. The timeline for the next steps has been finalised.
A Statement of Intent has been signed by NITI Aayog with the Institute of Sustainability, Employment and Growth (ISEG) Foundation and World Resources Institute (WRI) India for the project.
The template for an economic growth strategy for identified city regions, among other things, includes the identification of organisational and financial unlocks, implementation milestones for the short-listed growth drivers, a plan for targeted funding, and a proposed governance structure.
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