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PURA Strategy – An Initiative for Rural Development

PURA Strategy – An Initiative for Rural Development

Many states drafted a plan to implement PURA strategy initiative amid COVID-19 pandemic.

About PURA

PURA model was coined by our former president Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam during our Republic Day in the year 2003.

The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India has re-launched the scheme Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) as a Central Government scheme during the remaining period of the eleventh five-year plan MoRD, with support from Department of Economic Affairs and the Asian Development Bank (which provided the technical assistance), intends to implement the PURA scheme under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between Local executive bodies like the Gram Panchayat(s) and private sector partners. 

The Background

In India, after independence in spite of a plethora of welfare schemes and activities aimed at the enhancement of rural areas. There are wide gaps in the availability of physical and social infrastructure between rural and urban areas.

PURA proposes that urban infrastructure and services should be provided in rural hubs to create economic opportunities outside the cities. Physical connectivity by providing roads, electronic connectivity by providing communication networks, and knowledge connectivity by establishing professional and technical institutions will have to be done in an integrated way so that economic connectivity will emanate.

To address these issues, the then President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam emphasized the launching of a mega mission, “Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA)”.

Purpose of PURA

"Holistic and accelerated development of compact areas around a potential growth centre through Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework for providing livelihood opportunities and urban amenities to improve the quality of life in rural areas".

Objectives of PURA

The primary objectives of the scheme are the provision of livelihood opportunities and urban amenities in rural areas to bridge the rural – urban divide.

Highlights of PURA Strategy

PURA strategy acts as a bridge between the rural and urban areas. It also balances the divide between socio-economic development by providing physical and social infrastructure.

Key Provisions under PURA strategy:

  • Road, transportation and power connectivity
  • Electronic connectivity in the form of reliable telecom, internet and IT services
  • Knowledge connectivity in the form of good educational and training institutions
  • Market connectivity to enable farmers to get the best prices for their produce
  • Provision of drinking water and up-gradation of existing health facilities.
  • Intervention should be over and above the existing schemes.
  • Intervention should aim at the cluster becoming growth centre.
  • Intervention to cover amenities and livelihood factors.
  • Convergence of existing schemes to be ensured.
  • Land cost and salaries not to be booked in the scheme.
  • Simultaneous delivery of key infrastructure in villages leading to optimal use of resources.
  • Provision of funds for O&M of assets for 10 years post-construction, along with capital investment for creation of assets.
  • Transformation of several schemes into a single project, to be implemented as per set standards in a defined timeframe, with the requirements of each scheme being kept intact.
  • Combining livelihoods creation with infrastructure development.
  • Enforcement of standards of service delivery in rural areas almost at par with those obtaining in urban areas.
  • Enforcement of service standards through a legally binding arrangement.

Summary

PURA was initially implemented by private actors in a piecemeal approach. The Ministry of

Rural Development adopted the model in the early 2000s and sanctioned pilots. Government procurement of service delivery to regions that needed them was the frame for this model. Currently, PURA lives on primarily as a private-actor-led project, securing funding from a variety of sources.[1]

References

  1. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5769a0b5f7e0ab7b91a3362b/t/5e661fa7190266288c7c8be2/1583751082907/REACH2020-IndiaPURA-r4.pdf