AMRUT Scheme

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June 06, 2024

Why in news?

AMRUT scheme recently made news due to challenges in improving infrastructure related to water supply, mobility, and pollution. 

What is AMRUT scheme?

  • Ministry- Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. 
  • Launch year- 2015, AMRUT 2.0 is launched in 2021.
    • It is a revamped version of the earlier similar scheme, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)

AMRUT scheme

  • Coverage- The mission was drawn to cover 500 cities and towns with a population of over 1 lakh with notified municipalities.
  • Purpose of the mission-
    • Ensure that every household has access to a tap with assured supply of water and a sewerage connection.
    • Increase the value of cities by developing greenery and well-maintained open spaces such as parks.
    • Reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorised transport.
  • Water supply system- Ensuring that every household has access to a tap with assured water supply.
  • Sewerage- Providing sewerage connections to households.
  • Storm water drainage- Developing robust stormwater drainage systems.
  • Urban transport- Focusing on public transport and non-motorized transport facilities (e.g., walking and cycling).
  • Green space and parks- Enhancing amenity value by creating well-maintained open spaces and parks.
  • Capacity building- Encouraging reforms to improve financial health, transparency, and citizen services in urban local bodies.
  • Fund allocation- INR 50,000 crore for five years from FY 2015-16 to FY 2019-20. 

Around 36% of India’s population is living in cities and by 2047 it will be more than 50%.


  • Aim- To make cities water secure and providing functional water tap connections to all households in all statutory towns.
  • It is a step towards AatmaNirbhar Bharat, this Mission will be run as people’s program i.e. Jan Aandolan.
  • Target- Providing 100% sewage management in 500 AMRUT cities.
  • Community participation- The Mission will co-opt women and youth for concurrent feedbacks about its progress.
  • Paperless mission- It will be monitored on robust technology based monitoring and evaluation platform.

What are the major challenges faced by the government to implement AMRUT scheme?

  • Death- It is estimated that about 2,00,000 people die every year due to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene.
  • Structural issues- AMRUT was designed for cities mainly driven by private interests and lacking organic participation from elected city governments. 
  • Monopoly- The project was owned by bureaucrats, parastatals, and large technology-based companies. Peoples’ representatives are completely missing, in violation of the 74th constitutional amendment. 
  • Environmental damage-With big private players driving development, urban planning is sidelined, this leads to lost water bodies, disrupted stormwater flow, and poor drainage.
  • Disease burden- The disease burden due to unsafe water and sanitation is considerably higher in India than in neighboring countries like China.
  • Reservoir capacity- Reservoirs critical for drinking and irrigation water are often underfilled, with major cities facing groundwater depletion.
  • Urban infrastructure gaps- 31% of urban households lack piped water, and 67.3% lack piped sewerage systems, with water supply far below the required levels. 
  • Untreated wastewater increases disease risk: the central government monitors 150 key reservoirs, crucial for drinking, irrigation, and hydroelectricity. Currently, they are only at 40% capacity. 
  • Water crisis in India-A NITI Aayog report warns that 21 major cities in India will soon deplete their groundwater, leaving 40% of the population without drinking water by 2030.

The average water supply per person is only 69.25 litres/day, far below the required 135 litres. 

  • Degraded air quality- Air quality in AMRUT cities and in other large urban settlements continue to worsen.
  • NCAP- A National Clean Air Programme was launched by the central government in 2019, as AMRUT 2.0 focused only on water and sewerage and because the air quality concerns of AMRUT 1.0 were far from addressed. 

What lies ahead?

  • The scheme needs nature based solutions and a comprehensive methodology with a people centric approach and empowering local bodies.  
  • The need of the hour is holistic integrated urban planning that addresses the challenges in AMRUT scheme.



  1. The Hindu- Overview of AMRUT scheme
  2. MoHUA- AMRUT 2.0


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