Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) is a VISION 2020 conceptualization
of the Honorable President of India, Dr.A.P.J.Kalam. One of the main philosophy
as projected, is to make rural areas as attractive to investors as in cities, then
rural areas too will generate urban-style employment leading to a reduction in rural-urban
migration. It states that a new thrust to all-round rural development can be achieved
through the provision of four critical connectivities. Physical connectivity, an
important connectivity, is to provide good roads, transport services and quality
power in the rural area. Next connectivity is economic that will help realize the
best value for the products and services of rural people, and constantly expand
and enrich employment opportunities for them. Knowledge and Electronic Connectivities
follow this. Knowledge Connectivity provides for establishing more professional
institutions and vocational training centres, schools with high quality infrastructure,
teachers devoted to teaching, production centres for rural artisans, primary centres,
recreation centres etc, while Electronic Connectivity provides reliable communication
networks. The model envisages a holistic habitat that would improve the quality
of life in rural areas and also help in decongesting of urban areas.
In the present study, funded by Department of Science & Technology New Delhi, a
strategic GIS based model for rural infrastructure planning has been developed.
Laksar block of Haridwar district in Uttaranchal has been selected for developing
the prototype model. An integrated geographic database, consisting of spatial as
well as non-spatial data, has been created in Arc GIS. The spatial elements of the
database include various feature classes describing village boundaries, drainage,
transportation network, and contours. The non-spatial elements consist of data related
to education, medical, post office, approach road to village, power supply, market/shopping
centre, literacy rate and irrigated land area. The education facility has been considered
at the levels of nursery, primary, middle and high schools, pre-university college
and adult education centre. The medical facilities include, Primary Health Centre
(PHC), hospital, community health centre, private health centre, ayurvedic hospital,
homeopathic hospital, and veterinary hospital.
Transportation facility includes metalled roads, unmetalled roads, railway line,
national highway, state highway and district highway. Communication facility includes
STD, PCO, post-office, telegraphic office and courier service. All the data has
been collected by conducting actual field survey for 96 villages in the block.
All the villages have been categories by computing Village Amenity Index (VAI).
For this various indices such as Transportation, Education, Economic, Health, Energy,
Communication etc., have been calculated to derive VAI. In order to identify the
infrastructure to be provided, a nyaya panchayat has been adopted as the base level
for development instead of individual villages. An Operation Research based model
with population projection has been adopted for modeling the infrastructure up to
2020 at an interval of 5 years.
Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishna once remarked that (NIEPA, 2004):
“The villages of India are vast resources of human energy, intelligence and aspiration,
much of goes away in futility. Indian boys and girls start out in life alert, curious,
eager to live and learn. The dull hopefulness of their environment kills the spirit
in many, so that as men and women they become conservative and inert. Give the villager
the picture of good life and health, cleanliness, variety of occupation, place and
time for recreation and a feeling that his hopes may be fulfilled and the energies
of the people will make a new rural India, fit and fine dwelling place for a great
India lives in villages, with more than two-thirds of India’s population residing
in the rural parts of the country. It is rather surprising that after more than
fifty years of India’s independence, India has not been able to provide proper avenues
for utilizing this resource. Rural poverty still exists at such an unprecedented
scale. Majority of villages in India lack proper education, employment, healthcare
and infrastructure, and thus their inhabitants are forced to migrate to cities for
a better living. Due to this unprecedented migration to city, Indian cities are
getting congested without sufficient place for living and support.
The PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Area) Model envisages a habitat designed
to improve the quality of life in rural areas and also makes special suggestions
to remove urban congestion. Further, efficient supply of water and effective waste
disposal in every locality are the paramount civic needs. There is a defined minimum
size below which a habitat is not viable and competitive within the existing congested
city. At the same time, the existing congested city is not economical compared to
a new town once the minimum size of expansion is crossed.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in his Independence
Day speech on August 15, 2003 declared the launching of PURA with the hope that
it will bridge the rural-urban divide and achieve balanced socio-economic development.
Elaborating on PURA Hon’ble President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, in his
address to the Joint session of Parliament on February 17, 2003 stated (NIEPA, 2004):
A key element of “Vision 2020” would be providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas
(PURA). More than two-thirds of the India’s population lives in rural areas. We
need to give a new thrust to their all-round development through the provision of
four critical connectivities: Physical Connectivity by providing good roads, transport
services and quality power; Electronic Connectivity by providing reliable communication
networks; Knowledge Connectivity by establishing more professional institutions
and vocational training centres, schools with high quality infrastructure, teachers
devoted to teaching, production centres for rural artisans, primary centres, recreation
centres etc,; and Market Connectivity that will help realize the best value for
the products and services of rural people, and constantly expand and enrich employment
opportunities for them. The model envisages a holistic habitat that would improve
the quality of life in rural areas and also help in decongesting of urban areas.
The PURA scheme envisages:
This scheme has the following advantages:
Fig. 3 below depicts various the components of PURA, with the aim of speeding up
the process of achieving total rural prosperity. For best results, all the connectivities
have to be developed in synchronism. Each of the connectivity has a minimum threshold
level, below which it is unviable. These connectivities are described briefly in
Physical connectivity relates to easy movement of people and goods, access to schools,
health centres and markets. At present, in rural India there are inadequate roads,
rail and public infrastructure and the task of physical connectivity is to organize
these in a cluster of 10 or more villages. These cluster of villages need to be
provided physical connectivity near ring roads. To provide physical connectivity,
low cost buses, preferably driven by batteries energized by renewable energy sources,
and powered by high efficiency engine would be operated almost throughout the day
as shuttle services moving people and goods from village to village and village
to school, health centers, fueling stations, farming areas, warehouses, agro-industries
and other commercial centers. Thus, the heart of the PURA concept is Physical Connectivity
of 10 or more villages by a ring road covering a population of around 30,000 – 50,000
people. Connectivity, thereafter, to a rail network and to a nearest city beyond
this village cluster would take off from the ring road. All these roads or links
will be of high quality enabling high-speed transportation. (Fig 4)
The system oriented approach for the village cluster would require introducing tele-education
for farmers and villagers, village internet kiosks, public call-offices, telemedicine-market,
e-governance, e-commerce and so on. Thus, the revolution in Information Technology
supported by space-based technology would create the needed societal transformation
at the grass roots of the country. It also will provide the opportunity for the
villagers to collectively locate call centers, business processing outsourcing and
software development centres to use outside markets. Thus PURA provides a seamless
connection and movement of molecules (people), atoms (material) and electrons (knowledge)
Knowledge connectivity will transform the rural area with connectivity in education,
healthcare, vocational training, and satellite applications for crops, water and
forest management, environment protection and cooperative product marketing. The
combination of electronic connectivity and knowledge connectivity will generate
literacy movement, tele-education, health care and resource management (Fig 6.).
The triad of physical, electronic and knowledge connectivity will bring forth the
economic connectivity through small-scale industries, agro and food processing,
warehouses, micro-power plants, renewable energy and village markets (Fig.7). This
will generate larger employment opportunities, women empowerment and improved quality
of life. The villages not only improve the quality of life but also maintain the
rural beauty and environment. As economy progresses, people will consume newer goods
and services. Similarly PURA will have potentiality to export to match the import.
The higher the exports, the larger are the import capability and larger the potentials
for prosperity. Therefore, export is an essential integral component of economic
Laksar block, is situated on the western bank of the Ganga river. It is surrounded
by Bahadarabad, Narsan and Khanpur blocks. It is bounded by latitude 28º 38’ 28”
E and 28º 51’ 25” E and longitude 77º 56’ 38” N and 78 º 11’ 40” N. The area is
covered by Survey of India Topographical Map No 53G/13, 53G/14, 53K/1 and 53K/2.
Its total geographical area is 283.60 sq.km. The block has a total of 88 villages
with total population of 109224. Fig 8 shows the location map of the Laksar block.
Fig 9 shows the flowchart for methodology adopted. Here the important steps are
the preparation of geo-spatial database to encompass all types of information. The
spatial data contained in various thematic coverages have to be linked to the corresponding
non-spatial attributes based upon a defined relationship.
There are two major aspects for their linkage:
In order to calculate Village Amenity Index (VAI), a logical analysis is required
to be carried where each information is categorized into one of the connectivity
and its importance is also defined by a weight factor. Table 1 gives the categorization
of each information in terms of connectivity along with the weightage associated.
The weightages have been fixed after personal discussions with many experts.
A Facility index is the measure of the importance of a settlement consider the presence
of that facility. It can be calculated using a weighted indexing method, as given
below: If Ii is the index of particular function “f” of ith
village, then :
where Wj = normalized logical weight of j th function
Xj = Value or availability of j th function in i th village.
n= number of functions / facility available in i th village. Suppose,
the education facilty index (EFI) is to be calculated, then
Where NI = Nursery school Index
PI = Primary school Index
MI = Middle school Index
HI = High school Index
I = Inter college Index
PVT = Private school Index
The data obtained from field survey was entered in to a GIS database and stored
in such a manner that it could be retrieved as per need. Since village is the level
of data integration, hence village code is used as one of the important parameters.
On the basis of the eq 1., various indices such as physical, economic, knowledge
and electronic connectivity indices have been calculated.
Figs 10 shows the distribution of population on a village basis. The criteria of
distribution is based on the population criteria as adopted in PMGSY project, while
fig 11 shows the distribution of population as per nyaya panchayat basis. Fig 12-25
show the various distribution maps of various levels of attributes and the four
connectivities. Fig 26 shows the Village Amenity Index map. Further, amenity index
at nyaya-panchayat level have been has been calculated (Fig 27). It is found that
Bheekampur is the least developed nyaya-panchayat (Fig 28). Within this nyaya panchayat,
3 villages are found to least developed villages, Fatwa Must, Rampur Raighati and
Jashpur Ranjeetpur Must (Fig 29). On basis of this, the suitable amenity development
plans can be formulated.
Data from different sources have been integrated into generate a robust GIS database.
With proper linkage, it has been possible to manipulate the data to generate the
various connectivity indices. On the basis of the same, the least developed nyaya
panchayat has been identified and also the least developed village. This study should
proper a framework for the decision makers to adopt while undertaking rural based
The author would like to express its gratitude to DST for providing the necessary
funds for undertaking this project. Further, the author would like to thank the
members of the expert committee members for their constant advice and critical comments
during the course of this project.
National Institute of Rural Development,