New Delhi: India has been assessed to have a deficit of about 18.78 million housing units in urban areas, and more than 95 per cent of the same pertain to economically weaker sections and low income groups of the society, Urban Development Minister Vennkaiah Naidu said.
In this scenario, the government is evolving comprehensive strategies towards achieving the objective of "Housing for All" by 2022, through active and beneficial involvement of a variety of stake holders including public-private participation and improving governance of housing delivery, the minister said yesterday.
Naidu was addressing the Plenary Session of Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference of Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) in Seoul.
Commending the Seoul Declaration, Naidu appealed to all Member Nations to adopt 5E policy - Education, Employment, Entertainment, Economic Upliftment and Equal Opportunities - to make the lives of people comfortable.
Quoting him, an official statement released here said he added that India has one of the largest urban systems in the world.
"Though accommodating slightly less than one third of the total population, the urban centres in India contribute a substantial part of the Gross Domestic Product already with 63 per cent in 2007 and the same is expected to increase to 75 per cent in 2021. By 2050, half of the Indian population will be living in urban areas and the Government of India is fully seized of the imperative of urban up-liftment through improving quality of public transport, providing drainage, sanitation, waste management, water recycling and wi-fi facilities for public and commercial areas," he said.
Naidu stressed that there is a commitment to adopt modern scientific methods of town and country planning practices based on Geographical Information System (GIS) in urban development.
Extension of metro services to important and major urban centres, development of twin cities and creating infrastructure in satellite cities are other priority areas to promote sustainable and integrated development of urban settlement system, he said.
It is in this context, the government is according top most priority to set up 100 new smart and safe cities in the country, he said adding that this entire effort would be "people centric" and pro-active urban reforms, planning and management as well as citizens' participation would be the hall mark of this strategy.