Shri Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister for Rural Development, said that creating physical infrastructure in rapidly urbanizing clusters will be a major challenge for the country in the coming years. He said, there are about 3900 such clusters in the country which do not fall either in rural or urban area and the Ministry of Rural Development will undertake projects like water supply, sanitation, street lighting, tourism and improvement of roads through Public-Private Partnership mode in such areas. The Project is rechristened as new PURA( Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas). Shri Ramesh was speaking here after signing of the Concession Agreement and State Support Agreement for the PURA project in Ibrahimpatnam and Kondapalli Gram Panchayat clusters of Krishna District , Andhra Pradesh this morning. Shri D.M. Varaprasada Rao, Minister for Rural Development, Government of Andhra Pradesh was also present during the signing ceremony.
Shri Ramesh said, PURA marks a major departure in the way, we approach development strategy and he also expressed hope that in the 12th Five Year Plan, it will be one of the important elements for creation of physical infrastructure in the rural areas. He said, as MGNREGA has become synonymous with the Ministry of Rural Development, in the next ten years the Ministry should be known for PURA projects in the country.
The Minister said, soon PURA-2 will be launched, where Centre will select the Developers, while the State Governments will choose the clusters for creation of infrastructure.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Rural Development Shri L.C.Goyal said, Ministry is putting lots of emphasis in grounding of good PURA projects across the country so that people in rural areas do not feel deprived of urban amenities and do not have the urge to migrate to cities in search of good living. He said, there are 4 Ps in the model as this is not only about Public Private Partnership, but also about involvement of People’s and communities at Gram Panchayat level.
Krishna District PURA Project is third in the country as two such projects were launched earlier at Thrissur and Malapuram districts of Kerala. The Minister informed that fourth PURA project will also materialize soon in the Warangal District of Andhra Pradesh