Current General Studies Magazine (August 2014)
General Studies - II (Development Based Article)
PROVIDING URBAN AMENITIES IN RURAL AREAS (PURA)
What is PURA?
Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA) is a strategy for rural
development in India. This concept was given by former president Dr. A.P.J.
Abdul Kalam and discussed in his book Target 3 Billion which he co-authored with
Srijan Pal Singh Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) is a Central
Sector scheme re-launched by Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of
India during remaining period of the XI Plan with support from Department of
Economic Affairs and the technical assistance of Asian Development Bank. MoRD is
implementing the PURA scheme under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework
between Gram Panchayat(s) and private sector partners with active support of the
The scheme envisages twinning of rural infrastructure development and
management with economic re-generation activities and is the first attempt at
delivering a basket of infrastructure and amenities through PPP in the rural
areas. It is an effort to provide a different framework for the implementation
of rural infrastructure development schemes and harness private sector
efficiencies in the management of assets and delivery of services. This would
perhaps be the first such attempt at PPP in integrated rural infrastructure
development and management in the world.
The scope of the Scheme would be to develop livelihood opportunities, urban
amenities and infrastructure facilities to prescribe service levels and to be
responsible for maintenance of the same for a period of ten years. The selected
private partner would be required to provide amenities like water supply and
sewerage, roads, drainage, solid waste management, street lighting, development
of economic activity and skill development in specified cluster as part of the
PURA Project. The selected private partner may also provide 'add-on'
revenue-earning facilities such as village linked tourism, integrated rural hub,
rural market, agri-common services centre and warehousing, any other
rural-economy based project, etc in addition to the abovementioned amenities.
The leveraging of public funds with private capital and management expertise
for creation and maintenance of rural infrastructure is the essence of the PURA
Scheme. The Scheme envisages convergence of funding from various ongoing schemes
of Central Government, private financing and capital grant, wherever required.
What is the objective of PURA Scheme?
The objectives of the PURA Scheme are provision of livelihood opportunities
and urban amenities in rural areas to bridge the rural - urban divide. The
Scheme envisages holistic and accelerated development of areas around a
potential growth centre in a Gram Panchayat (or group of Gram Panchayats) in a
Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework. Ministry of Rural Development (with
support from Department of Economic Affairs and technical assistance of Asian
Development Bank) intends to implement the PURA Scheme on a pilot basis under a
PPP framework. The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) in consultation with
State Government of Maharashtra has identified the Gram Panchyats of Dudhgaon,
Kasabedigraj, Kavathepiran, Samdoli and Tung (specified cluster) in Miraj Block
of Sangli District in the state of Maharashtra for the implementation of PURA
scheme on Pilot basis.
What is the mission of PURA Scheme?
Holistic and accelerated development of compact areas around a potential
growth centre in a Gram Panchayat (or a group of Gram Panchayats) through Public
Private Partnership (PPP) framework for providing livelihood opportunities and
urban amenities to improve the quality of life in rural areas.
What are the features of PURA scheme?
The objectives of PURA are proposed to be achieved under the framework of
Public Private Partnership between Gram Panchayats and private sector partner
with active state government support. Core funding shall be sourced from the
Central Sector scheme of PURA and complemented by additional support through
convergence of different Central Government schemes. The private sector shall
also bring into the project its share of investment besides operational
expertise. The scheme would be implemented and managed by the private sector on
considerations of economic viability but designed in a manner whereby it is
fully aligned with the overall objective of rural development.
What are the urban amenities proposed under PURA scheme?
An illustrative list of amenities and economic activities proposed to be
provided under PURA are as follows:-
Amenities to be provided under MoRD
Amenities to be provided under Non-MoRD
Add-on Projects (Revenue earning,
people centric projects)
- Water and Sewerage
- Construction and maintenance of Village Streets
- Solid Waste Management
- Skill Development
- Development of Economic Activities
- Village Street Lighting
- Electricity, etc.
- Villagelinked tourism
- Integrated Rural Hub, Rural Market.
- Agri – Common Services Centre, Warehousing, etc.
- Any other rural-economy based project
Need for restructured PURA scheme despite a number of other ongoing
It is expected that a scheme like PURA wherein all related schemes
for rural infrastructure are being converged for a synchronized delivery
for a period of 10 years in project mode shall maximize socio-economic
impact. Besides, minimum development obligations by the private
developer will enable improved quality of service delivery in the
How are the Gram Panchayat(s) chosen for PURA?
In the pilot phase, the private developer is given flexibility to
identify and select the Gram Panchayat for undertaking PURA projects
based on their familiarity with the area or past experience of working
at the grassroots level. However, as the consent of the concerned
Panchayats and no objection from the state governments is mandatory, the
selection would reflect the concurrence of all the stakeholders.
How have the Private Developers been chosen for implementation of
The selection has been done through an open competitive technical
bidding process with rigorous qualification and evaluation criteria. As
these are pilot projects, therefore, there has been no financial
bidding. In the pilot projects the bidders have been evaluated on their
technical capability and assigned scores as per pre-approved evaluation
What is the funding source for PURA scheme?
Funding for projects under PURA scheme would come from four sources:
1. MoRD schemes
2. non-MoRD schemes
3. private financing and
4. Capital Grant under PURA.
What is the concession period for PURA projects?
PURA has been designed with a length of concession period as 10 years
with an additional 03 years for construction period.
Is PURA viable for a private developer?
It is expected that the additional revenue generating activities and
the capital grant support shall successfully enable a viable PPP in the
scheme. Mapping of different risks along with mitigation measures has
been attempted. Along with emphasis upon rural development priorities,
there shall be an effort to dovetail developers’ perspective on an
economically viable project. The way project design has been done, the
private developer should make requisite profit during the project life
cycle of 10 years.
Is this model of PURA upscalable?
Through the implementation of proposed pilot projects, the unique
features of this scheme would be tested on the ground and provide
lessons for upscaling in future. Besides, the entire process shall help
strengthen the institutional ability of a Gram Panchayat to undertake
PPP and help pilot-test the viability of PPPs in rural infrastructure
development. However, in terms of funding and management of PURA
projects across all the 2,50,000 Panchayats in the country is concerned,
it is up-scalable and financially affordable for the Government over a
period of 5-10 years.
How shall the cost of a PURA project and the capital grant be
Each individual PURA project cost and the eligible capital grant
(subject to a maximum of 35% of project cost) shall be determined on the
basis of a Concept Plan and Detailed Project Report that would be
appraised and approved by an inter-Ministerial Empowered Committee for
The basis of providing urban amenities in rural areas (PURA) is
rooted in establishing connectivity Comment. (200 words)
What is PURA ? Discuss urban amenities proposed under PURA
scheme. (200 words)