The Union Minister of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar today inaugurated a one day workshop on experience sharing under Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) along with Minister of State for Rural Development Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Member of Parliament, Robertganj Shri Pakaudi Lal Kol and Secretary, Rural Development Shri Amarjeet Sinha. SPMRM focuses on cluster based integrated development through Geo – spatial Planning for holistic development of the region while encouraging innovation and integrated and inclusive rural development.
Shri Narendra Singh Tomar addressing the gathering asserted that SPMRM would improve the living condition of rural areas. Shri Tomar insisted that SPMRM should draw inspiration from the life of Shyama Prasad Mukherji and bring in development based on his vision of reducing the rural – urban divide. The Minister pointed out that each mission requires funds, however, success of a mission is equally dependent on the mind-set of the community and their ownership. He advised that rural – urban migration would be reduced if we provide employment, education and basic amenities in these clusters. He laid emphasis on the skill development linked with market linkage and insisted on developing theme based clusters which would encourage entrepreneurial skill and buying power of the cluster.
Shri Tomar emphasised that cleanliness plays a pivotal role in providing a hygienic and healthy environment and this should be brought in with the help of community participation and by making it a mass movement. He applauded the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan started by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi as it has helped to improve sanitation in a great way. He informed that as per a study carried out by World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2018 three lakh children were saved from diarrhoea as cleanliness was improved vis-à-vis an earlier study done in 2015. He further insisted that Swachhata Award must be taken up in these clusters.
The Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti stated that due to constant effort for ensuring community participation, the rural population is now aware of their rights and that the Sarpanchs act as a link between Government of India and rural population. She insisted that with the well planned development foreseen in the Rurban Cluster, employment would be created which will help reduce rural migration. She also proposed that clusters may be awarded based on their development so that they act as an inspiration for other clusters. She stressed on the need of employment generative skill development.
Member of Parliament Shri Pakodi Lal Kol, appreciated the work being done in their Kodai cluster. He informed that this has improved the basic infrastructure facilities and the cluster which was earlier in the dark has now got well-lit through this program.
The Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Shri Amarjeet Sinha appreciated that this workshop is being held where elected representative are sharing their experiences on the development taking place under Rurban Mission in their respective areas. Shri Sinha informed that studies have revealed that rural areas contribute to 50% of agriculture manufacturing goods and contribute one fifth to the service sector and these are mainly the clusters which have more than 75% population engaged in non-farming activities. He further informed that Rurban clusters would witness a well planned development through infused economic activities along with infrastructure development.
Elected representatives from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Nagaland, Karnataka, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh shared their experience. Apart from infrastructural development through the mission, the participants informed that it has also helped in increasing the income of the population through economic activity generation initiatives like Agro – processing, bakery industries, garments manufacturing, e-rickshaw services, agri-equipment bank. Further several states presented their experiences on successful implementation and impact of solid waste management activities. The meeting was attended by more than 275 participants which includes over 80 elected representatives from the States and Union Territories.
SPMRM aims to provide well planned basic amenities along with economic development activities. The mission has an objective for comprehensive development of 300 clusters out of which Integrated Cluster Action Plans for 279 clusters have been approved. Total investment in these 279 clusters is estimated at Rs. 26,258 Crores of which Rs. 5,150 crore has already been spent which includes Rs.800 crore from Critical Gap Funding and the remaining from convergence. Basic amenities in a cluster typically comprises of provision of 24/7 water supply to all households, Solid and Liquid Waste Management facilities at the household and cluster level, provision of Inter and Intra village roads within the cluster, adequate street lights and public transport facilities using green technologies. Economic Amenities in a cluster comprise various thematic areas in the sectors of Agri Services and Processing, Tourism, and Skill development to promote Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.