India to launch two new sanitation initiatives

Photo: USAID

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 and AMRUT 2.0 initiatives today.

The twin initiatives will target the quality of urban life in India—especially improving sanitation conditions—as Modi seeks to accelerate India’s budding urbanization. Likewise, the twin programs are likely to command strong government support.

For Modi, attracting significant foreign direct investment (FDI) to India’s urban post-pandemic—particularly in the technology sector—is critical to India’s future economic prospects. The government hopes the novel programs will contribute to improving the infrastructure and overall quality of life in Indian cities.

Expect the new initiatives to target several key challenges associated with nascent urbanization. Swachh Bharat 2.0 will call for upgrades to the sanitary infrastructure in India’s largest cities, although smaller towns may also receive attention. AMRUT 2.0 will underscore important reforms in municipal tax collection, audits of energy and water systems and to propose environmentally-friendly projects to contribute to the sustainability of New Delhi’s urbanization drive. In the medium-term, although important reforms have significantly lowered the barriers of doing business in the country, further efforts are needed—such as reforms of regulatory agencies—to secure ever-increasing amounts of FDI.

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