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.
The social inclusion programme aims at providing amenities like drinking water, street lights, education, healthcare and telecom services to the country’s rural areas and ensure its 626,000 villages become part of the development process. Though the project will be implemented under public-private partnership mode, a large amount of capital expenditure will be borne by the government.
The project aims at creating economic opportunities outside of cities by providing urban infrastructure and services in rural hubs, such as electricity to each household, roads, potable drinking water, telecom services, health and education. Physical connectivity by providing roads, electronic connectivity by providing communication networks, and knowledge connectivity by establishing professional and technical institutions will have to be done in an integrated way so that economic connectivity will emanate.
The theme of PURA, apart from concentrating on reinforcing agriculture, will emphasise on agro-processing, development of rural craftsmanship, dairy, fishing, and silk production, so that the non-farm revenue for the rural sector is enhanced, based on the core competence of the region. Also the rural economy will be driven by renewable energy such as solar, wind, bio-fuel and conversion of municipal waste into power. In this approach, the aim is to make sustainable development using the core competence of the rural sector.
PURA scheme is to be implemented under the framework of Public Private Partnership (PPP). The scope of the scheme is to select private partners to develop livelihood opportunities, urban amenities and infrastructure facilities and to be responsible for maintenance of the same for a period of 10 years in selected panchayats / cluster of panchayats. A concession agreement will be signed between the gram panchayat as the grantor and the private developer as the concessionaire. It shall include details of minimum service level standards, performance guarantees, etc. A state support agreement will be signed between the Ministry of Rural Development, state government and private developer.