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M. Venkaiah Naidu calls for paradigm shift in urban planning and management Urges states to be pro-active

Union Minister of Urban Development, Housing & Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for a radical shift in approaches to urban planning, development and management to effectively meet the growing challenges of urbanization being driven by LPG (Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation). In his keynote address at the workshop of Secretaries of Urban Development, Housing and Local Bodies of central and state/UT governments here today, Shri Naidu underscored that people are keen about delivery of quality and assured services for which they are willing to pay and this needs to be factored in urban planning.

Shri Naidu suggested a ‘preventive’ approach to address the issues of illegal constructions and encroachments through strict enforcement of transparency and accountability on the part of all concerned. To bridge the rural-urban divide, he suggested efficient ‘regional urban planning’ using appropriate technologies like GIS. The Minister stressed the need for ensuring effective public transportation in urban areas besides drinking water, solid waste management, sanitation, conservation of nature and energy.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu said the Narendra Modi led government is committed to ensure housing for all by the year 2022, the 75th Year of the country’s independence and to achieve this, ‘Team India’ approach is required with the states/union territories playing a pro-active role. He informed that all options are being explored to meet the huge resource requirement in this regard and the central government would put in place an enabling policy environment to realize active participation of all stakeholders including banking and financial institutions. He further said that ‘poor’ sections of the society are the primary focus of the central government and hence, the initiative of providing universal housing. The Minister emphasized the need for large scale skill up-gradation programme for empowering the youth for gainful employment.

Smt Anita Agnihotri, Secretary, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Urban Development said all stakeholders should learn from the experience of formulating and implementing various schemes like JNNURM and other initiatives and suggested ways and means for effective implementation of new initiatives being launched by the central government. She underscored the need for enhanced flow of credit to economically weaker sections (EWS) and low-income groups (LIG). She said housing shortage in urban areas is expected to rise to 300 lakh units in 2022 from the present about 190 lakhs.

Shri Sudhir Krishna, former Secretary, Urban Development noted that there is a direct correlation between urbanization and economic growth and per capita income. He called for planned urbanization for reaping the benefits flowing from it.

Administrative secretaries from central and state/UT governments dealing with urban development, housing and urban local bodies have today held intensive brainstorming sessions on various related issues including implementation aspects. Ministers dealing with these subjects will deliberate on various issues tomorrow to draw up a way forward on new initiatives including Housing for All by 2022.