Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) Scheme by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam: Bridging Rural-Urban Divide

 

PURA or Providing Urban Amenities in Rural areas was an initiative by former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam to make smart villages by providing urban like facilities in the rural areas. It was initiated in January 2003 on the occasion of the Republic Day to empower the development in rural areas under the Ministry of Rural Development. This initiative was implemented on a pilot basis in 7 clusters over a period of 3 years between 2004 and 2007 as a Central Sector scheme.

 

In 2012, the scheme was relaunched as a central government scheme with the support of Asian Development Bank and department of economic affairs as PURA 2.0. The focus of the second phase was to find development potential of the census towns. 

 

The main objective of the scheme is bridging the rural and urban divide by providing urban amenities in rural areas with main focus on development of compact areas around growth centers such as Gram Panchayats through Public Private Partnership(PPP) model. This would not only improve livelihood opportunities but also help improve the quality of life in rural areas. 

 

Objectives PURA Scheme

 

The PURA scheme is a noble idea with the primary objectives as:

  • providing urban amenities and livelihood opportunities in rural areas
  • bridging the rural and urban gap
  • By holistic development of rural areas, improve the livelihood of people living in rural villages
  • Provide better quality of life by improving areas around prime locations using the Public Private Partnership(PPP) model
  • Creating economic & employment opportunities outside the cities for people particularly the youth 
  • Capacity building in education by providing schools and value added employable skills and knowledge 
  • Providing high tech health care facilities
  • Providing physical connectivity by roads 
  • Providing electronic connectivity by rewinding communication networks 
  • Providing knowledge connectivity by establishing professional and technical institutions

 

Facilities PURA Scheme

 

The facilities provided under the scheme include: 

 

  • water and sewage system management,
  • construction and maintenance of village streets, 
  • drainage system improvement, 
  • skill development, 
  • lighting up of village streets, 
  • electricity generation, 
  • provision of telecom lines
  • Solid waste management 
  • Development of economic activities
  • harnessing village linked tourism
  • Development of integrated rural hubs and rural markets

 

Features of PURA Scheme 

  • The scheme includes a public private partnership framework between the gram panchayat and the private sector to support state government achieve appropriate rural development 
  • The core funding for this scheme is center based with additional support by convergence with other Central government schemes 
  • The private sector mix it’s own investment and provides operational expertise for development of smart villages 
  • The responsibility for implementation and management of the scheme is done by the private sector but with the motive fully aligned with the initial objective of development of rural areas

 

Implementation PURA Scheme

For implementation of the scheme, private developers have full flexibility to identify & select the gram panchayat for undertaking the PURA development. For implementation, the consent of the concerned Gram Panchayat and the respective state government is mandatory. A team in the Ministry of Rural Development dedicated to the PURA Division supervisors on the activities conducted by a private partner while implementation of a PURA sub project.

The center and private partner work closely on development of a rural village with the ministry guiding and monitoring the project all throughout.

 

Conclusion 

The PURA scheme, the brainchild of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam had a mission of providing equal opportunities in rural areas by bridging the gap between the urban and rural regions of the country. It had an objective of providing high cost advanced technology to the villages, develop proper Road facilities by treating rural development as a corporate social responsibility. 

 

Leave a Comment