Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath
NEW DELHI: Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath today hit back at those critical of his suggestion that Delhi should choose vertical growth through high rise buildings by saying that some people were raising doubts but had no alternative solution to offer.
"Now Delhi can't expand with Haryana on one side and you've got UP on the other side. Where does Delhi expand? What is the kind of urban planning we need," HE said.
"The twelfth plan....Planning Commission passed two weeks ago talks about optimum use of land. How do we have optimum use of land. When I talk of high rise I get a lot of letters that Delhi can't have high rise, Delhi can't have this, Delhi can't have that. Okay, then what do we do? Give me an answer. (But) nobody is ready to give me an answer," the Minister said.
Nath was speaking at an Infrastructure conclave organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce here.
He said that a practical approach had to be chosen on the issue of allowing vertical growth in Delhi.
"But you have all kinds of people who will write letters, write articles that Delhi cannot have high rise... That is desirable, but you have to practice the art of feasible against the art of the desirable," Nath said.
"High rise must be there where we can build infrastructure to support high rise, in selected areas and earmarked areas. Urban planners must earmark areas where high rise is possible and back that up with infrastructure. Once that is backed by infrastructure, we should be looking at high rises in areas specified by urban planning," he said.
Nath said that "idealistic approaches" did not solve the problem and added that in India there was a huge pressure of population and people could not be stopped from moving from one area to another area.
Nath also said that in India, industry had got used to a period of boom which had led to a situation where anything that was "not boom was considered gloom".
"Growth has slowed down from the boom time but India continues towards growth in no uncertain ways," he said.
The Minister said that because of the growth India was experiencing, there was an infrastructure deficit. "The government is giving this top priority".
He said that eight per cent of GDP went for infrastructure development in the last plan as against just 2.5 per cent in the previous one.
Infrastructure required huge investments and since the government would not have resources to meet this huge demand, private sector had to be involved through public private partnerships (PPPs), he said.
On urban transport, Nath said that there was a need to look at monorail issue.