Government to raise money from market for urban missions: Hardeep Puri

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The medium of setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle to tap the market in order to meet the huge investment needs is under examination. Pune has already mobilised Rs 200 crore through the bonds and "a few more cities are set to do so", he said.

The Andhra Pradesh Government today assured the centre that over five lakh affordable houses will be built in urban areas of the State under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) in the next fifteen months.

This evaluation will provide useful guidance to the city and state governments in the context of current thrust on urban rejuvenation, he added. "Of course, we have to be careful on how that has to be done (market borrowing). Once this idea is firmed up, we will take it forward in an appropriate manner", Puri said at an event organised by the Public Affairs forum of India.

To address the issue of land scarcity in the country, even as rapid urbanisation takes over, Hardeep Singh Puri, the housing and urban affairs minister, on Saturday directed a review of the Floor Space Index (FSI) and Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for all megacities.

The Ministry has also prepared an action plan to enable 500 AMRUT cities acquire credit ratings so as to enable them go for issue of municipal bonds to mobilise resources for infrastructure projects. Moreover, while some are greenfield projects, others are retrofits. Shri Puri informed him that as and when the revised proposal is received, it will be given due consideration, keeping in view the focus of the State Government on improving public transport infrastructure in the State.

Asked what options his ministry is mulling, Puri said, "Let us complete the exercise".

Noting that there were 825 million cars in the world in 2010 and this is expected to rise to 1,600 million in 2035 and to 2,100 million in 2050 with the potential of bringing cities to a grinding halt, he said that investment in developing cycling and walking pathways makes the good urban investment.

The investments will be routed through special objective vehicles (SPV), floated in each of these cities.

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