By Accommodation Times News Services
Union Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today suggested a 25-point charter for urban planning and management to ensure planned urbanisation, assured amenities and decent urban life. Addressing the Conclave of Ministers of Housing and Urban Development of States and Union Territories here today, Shri Naidu called for ‘out of box’ thinking and solutions to address emerging challenges of urbanisation in the country.
Shri Naidu noted that “housing is a basic indicator of well being of our people and particularly, the poor. Lack of own house, in my view is the basic deprivation and this has to be met in right earnest and hence, the central government’s initiative of providing housing for all by 2022”. He said, after the recent general elections, it is time for the central and state/UT governments to move forward as ‘Team India’ as desired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The Minister assured the ministers from states and Union Territories that there will be no discrimination in allocation of resources on any ground.
Expressing concern over the present state of urban planning and management, Shri Naidu suggested a charter of actions to be addressed to while planning for urban development and management. These include –making towns and cities slum free, exploiting economic potential of cities with respect to tourism, health, education, business etc, inclusive zoning providing for old age homes, orphanages, night shelters etc, provision of efficient infrastructure, efficient energy use, clean and green cities, zero landfill waste, solid waste management, promoting cycling through dedicated cycling tracks, capacity building of municipalities, enacting for guaranteed services etc.
The minister informed that to meet the housing shortage of 300 lakh houses in urban areas by 2022, various options including channelizing tax revenues generated through enhanced economic activity on account of massive housing scheme back into housing through an ESCROW account, interest subvention and Public Private Partnership are being examined. The Minister noted that the government would soon firm up the way forward on development of 100 ‘Smart Cities’. He said that there is considerable interest in this scheme from different developed countries.