Union minister of state for urban development Deepa Dasmunshi stressed the need for more Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives for tackling the growing problems of urbanisation in the country.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the 6th EuroIndia Summit on ‘Greening Cities’, jointly organised by CII, The EuroIndia Centre, EBTC and the state government here on Monday, the Union minister said ‘’in urban areas our capabilities are not sufficient and hence we need to collaborate with private partners to deal with the urban problems.’’
Blaming land acquisition and encroachment for delay in implementation of urban development programmes, she said the government projects are getting delayed due to these problems.
As the state governments have to implement the Central projects and schemes it should see that all the key road blocks are removed for faster implementation of development programmes, she observed.
With more than half of the population of the country moving towards urban areas by 2031 the pressure on cities will increase and there will be scarcity of resources. Hence, we have to make our cities ready for accommodating such a huge population in the future, she remarked.
Commenting on the UPA government’s flagship programme for urbanisation, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) she said that the programme has been effective in renewing focus on the urban sector across the country.
The JNNURM has expanded the concept of city improvement beyond roads, flyovers and traffic management with slums moved out of the way, to concerns of sanitation, water, and public transportation, and now even to more fundamental needs and rights of the underserved poor in the cities. The programme has encouraged investments to flow for basic services in cities, particularly for the urban poor, she said.
In the four years since this major programme was launched, some states and cities have progressed fArther than others towards tangible results, she said.
Member of Planning Commission Arun Maira said India has not done good enough job as far as urbanisation is concerned. “The capabilities of our governance system are very weak compared to the challenges - both in urban and rural development. Unfortunately we have made rural development the mantra of our governance systems,’’ he remarked.
He also said if the local stakeholders are made part of the urban policy making there will be better results. Delegation of the European Union to India Ambassador Joao Cravinho said that the EU was sponsoring a lot of urban development programmes in India and is helping in solving problems in the cities.
Minister for municipal administration and urban development M Maheedhar Reddy said the state government was promoting ‘green buildings’ concept in the state and has brought a policy in this regard. Apart from this the Andhra Pradesh government was taking measures to tackle problems related to urbanisation, he said.
The EuroIndia Centre president Colette Mathur, EBTC director Poul V. Jensen and CII state chairman B Ashok Reddy were present.