An Overview of the AMRUT Scheme


  • India is rapidly urbanizing, around 36% of India’s population is living in cities and by 2047 it will be more than 50%.
  • The World Bank estimates that around $840 billion is required to fund the bare minimum urban infrastructure over the next 15 years.


  • Looking at the rapid urbanisation and to address the infrastructure need, AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) scheme was launched by the government in 2015, with its 2.0 version launched in 2021.
  • The mission was drawn to cover 500 cities and towns with a population of over one lakh with notified municipalities.
  • The purpose of the AMRUT mission was to:
  • 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 and;
  • reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorised transport.
  • AMRUT 2.0: Aimed at making cities ‘water secure’ and providing functional water tap connections to all households in all statutory towns.
  • Ambitious targets were set up such as providing 100% sewage management in 500 AMRUT cities.
  • Other components of AMRUT 2.0 are:
  • Pey Jal Survekshan to ascertain equitable distribution of water, reuse of wastewater, mapping of water bodies and promote healthy competition among the cities /towns.
  • Technology Sub-Mission for water to leverage latest global technologies in the field of water.
  • Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign to spread awareness among masses about conservation of water.

Need for the Scheme

  • It is estimated that about 2,00,000 people die every year due to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene.
  • In 2016, the disease burden due to unsafe water and sanitation per person was 40 times higher in India than in China.
  • The 150 reservoirs monitored by the central government, which supplies water for drinking and irrigation, and are the country’s key source of hydro-electricity, were filled to just 40% of its capacity a few weeks ago.
  • Around 21 major cities are going to run out of ground water.
  • In a NITI Aayog report it was stated that 40% of India’s population will have no access to drinking water by 2030.
  • Nearly 31% of urban Indian households do not have piped water; 67.3% are not connected to a piped sewerage discharge system; and average water supply per person in urban India is 69.25 litres/day, whereas the required amount is 135 litres.


  • Narrow Approach: The basic fundamental of the scheme was erroneously constructed. Instead of a holistic approach, it took on a project-oriented attitude.
  • Furthermore, AMRUT was made for cities with no participation from the cities. It was quite mechanical in design, with hardly any organic participation of the elected city governments, and driven by mostly private interests.
  • Delays in Implementation: Like many government schemes, AMRUT projects often face delays in implementation due to bureaucratic hurdles, land acquisition issues, and other administrative challenges.
  • Maintenance and Sustainability: While AMRUT focuses on building new infrastructure, ensuring its long-term maintenance and sustainability is equally important.
  • Without proper maintenance, the infrastructure deteriorates over time, undermining the benefits of the scheme.
  • Inclusivity: There is a need to ensure that the benefits of AMRUT reach all sections of society, including marginalized communities and informal settlements.
  • Inclusive planning and implementation strategies are essential to address the needs of all urban residents.
  • Environmental Impact: The rapid urbanization and infrastructure development under AMRUT may have adverse environmental consequences if not implemented sustainably.
  • Measures should be taken to minimize environmental degradation and promote eco-friendly practices.

Way Ahead

  • The scheme needs nature based solutions and a comprehensive methodology with a people centric approach and empowering local bodies.
  • By addressing these challenges effectively, AMRUT can play a crucial role in improving the quality of life in urban areas across India.