Cities should be made hubs of economic growth: official
Aug 06, 2012
Source : The Hindu


Secretary in the Union Urban Development Department Sudhir Krishna on Friday said urbanisation could not be prevented and the solution lay in creating planned cities making them hubs of economic growth. 
Delivering the keynote address at the South India Real Estate Conference 2012 organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here, Mr. Krishna said at a time when landholdings were decreasing, the solution was in encouraging migration to create larger holdings so as to increase food production on the other hand. 
As of now, urban areas contribute 60 per cent of the gross domestic product, which is less compared to other parts of the world (90 per cent). 
Between 2001 and 2011, the number of towns have increased from 5,161 to 7,935; districts from 593 to 640 and urban population from 1078.73 million to 1,210.20 million, he said. 
The 12th Five-Year Plan seeks to step up investment in urban infrastructure; strengthen urban governance; augment soft infrastructure (system); besides renewing and giving more prominence to regional planning. Mr. Krishna said issues in city planning such as city mobility plan giving primacy to public and non-motorised transport; economic and commercial activity plan; infrastructure plan; waste management and inclusive zoning for orphans, aged, working women etc., should be properly dealt with. 
The present master plans which are developed for 15 to 30 years should give way to review of plans once in three or five years so as to have more flexibility. On its part, the Union Urban Development Department had proposed several policies on urban governance. Besides, the department was reviewing the standards for urban buses so that the manufacturers produce buses to the market requirement instead of operators buying whatever manufacturers produce. 
Unified bylaws 
Dwelling upon framework for real estate development, Mr. Krishna said the department was attempting to come out with unified building bylaws across the country. “We are trying this with Delhi at present and the same will be proposed to other State governments too,” he said. 

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