India's Urban Story

Multilateral agencies have made a beeline for contributing to India’s urban space. Seven bilateral and multilateral organisations including arms of United Nations and World Bank have already begun collaborating with urban development ministry, and many more are getting ready to explore innovative urban development programmes in the country.The agencies which are already on board include Japan Bank of International Corporation (JBIC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP), Asian Development Bank (ADB), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and international co-operation enterprise from Germany GTZ.Sources in urban development ministry said that several more organisations including German development bank KfW, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and Clinton Climate Initiative have also shown interest in getting themselves engaged in India’s urban projects.Urban development secretary M Ramachandran said that the ongoing Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Development Mission (JNNURM) had given the momentum for multilateral agencies to contribute in various projects. “Once the JNNURM has become popular, many bilateral and multilateral agencies have shown interest in getting engaged with us. We have recently signed a joint statement with GTZ for collaborating in sustainable urban management. The JBIC and ADB have extended loans for many of our projects. Many more organisations are in talks with us to explore collaboration with urban development projects,” Mr Ramachandran said.Significantly, a German development bank KfW has written to finance ministry seeking permission for creating an urban infrastructure fund. A private organisation Clinton Climate Initiative has expressed interest in providing technical assistance in areas of climate change particularly in respect to retrofitting and construction of energy efficient buildings.Mr Ramachandran said, “Now, we don’t need to pursue multilateral agencies to bring in their expertise for executing urban projects. All of them are excited about India’s urban story, and they have taken their own initiatives to explore possible collaboration with us.”

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