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France, Germany to fund India’s urban growth mission

France and Germany plan to provide a €100 million loan to India’s urban infrastructure initiative AMRUT 2.0.

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India’s infrastructure initiative, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0, was launched in October 2021 for five years (FY22 to FY26). It seeks to provide universal sewage and septage management coverage to 500 cities in India.

Amongst several other infrastructure projects, France and Germany have decided to fund this one with almost ₹290 crore.

What is AMRUT 2.0?

The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) has been launched in 500 cities in the country to enhance their liveability, and to make ‘states equal partners in planning and implementation of projects’, according to the official AMRUT prospectus.

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The scheme aims to provide universal coverage of water supply to 1.39 crore households. So far, 1.12 crore tap connections and 87 lakh sewer connections have already been provided under the scheme.

According to the Mint, The Union Cabinet, with regard to this mission had said, “The program envisages to support competitively selected projects promoting circular economy with focus on integrated waste management at the city level, climate-oriented reform actions at the State level, and institutional strengthening and knowledge dissemination at the National level.”

The mission also aims to decrease the disease load on the country’s healthcare system and improve the quality of life for all.

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French and German investment into AMRUT 2.0

Both France and Germany have funded projects previously in India. Previously in Nagpur, Pondicherry, and Chandigarh, France’s AFD bank had joined the CITIIS 1.0 program and provided intellectual expertise to the Smart Cities Mission. It has also financed metro projects in cities like Bengaluru, Pune, Surat, and Kochi.

Germany’s KfW bank, in the past, has also invested in metro projects around the country. The bank previously provided a loan for the expansion of Bengaluru’s suburban rail system. KfW also plans to finance India’s PM E-Bus Sewa Scheme, which aims to introduce more than 10,000 electric buses in more than 170 cities. Currently, the scheme is expected to cost ₹57,000 crore, more than 50% of which is expected to be financed by the bank.

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