AIR spotlight summary on “Role of new Urban Development Policy in overall development”
The Centre has unveiled the Urban Development strategy for the next 20 years to use growing urbanization for rapid economic development. This policy is going to have an impact on the Socio economic prosperity of the people. India was in a need of such kind of policy because of the way we are expecting our economy to grow in future and the income of the people are going to increase.
The importance of Infrastructure
- If we are not enhancing our infrastructure and coming up with sound urbanisation policies, then we fall short of required infrastructure to support the population and good standard of living.
- This requires lot of investment and which in turn creates more employment opportunities to the people and ultimately going to be a win-win situation for the people and for the country.
- Make in India dream cannot be accomplished without sound infrastructure particularly in urban areas. Urban areas are supporting the industries. This policy creates opportunities both within and outside the country.
- India is the only country where development of infrastructure has not happened even decades after independence. Now is the high time to find solutions for the problems in infrastructure. Public-private partnership would be a wonderful idea. If possible we should pool funds from outside in the form of FDI.
Urbanisation in India
- For long, urbanisation was looked in limited perspective of providing basic services like roads, sewage and basic housing. But this policy unveils sustainable policies that is reducing water and power use by half, renewable energy, public transport and inclusivity which are the key elements.
- Right now many cities are developed in an unplanned manner which is an inefficient way to utilise the space. Urbanisation actually means in a smaller space we must be able to create living setup, industries, and all facilities, which must be cost saving.
- In the last two years central government has launched new urban missions and that had marked a paradigm shift in the country’s approach to urban development. These are aimed at promotion and development of urban human settlement.
- There is huge population which is still struggling with poverty and inequality. If we increase their purchasing power and income levels, there emerges a huge market from it.
- While talking about inclusivity the government must include social security systems like old age issues. Country is said to be developed when old people are sitting in their house in a relaxed manner and all their needs are met.
- In India the urbanisation has happened at a very slow pace. During 2001 census urbanisation was 28% and during 2011 census it was 31%. If the country should progress in higher growth trajectory then it is important to enhance the pace of urbanisation and in a highly sustained manner. For example in Mumbai, they are reconstructing the building.
Highlights of Urban Development Policy
- Sustainable and inclusive cities are steps in the right direction. These include promoting walking and cycling for last mile connectivity, compact and cluster urban development, promoting natural drainage patterns, reducing waste generation of all kind, promoting greenery and public places etc. These are new initiatives and were not included earlier during planning of the cities.
- The agenda for the next two decades would be to ensure economic growth and productivity, improving quality of life and addressing the issues of inclusivity, sustainability and climate change.
- Under the policy there is a process of elimination of barriers to the flow of factors of production like capital, land and labour, development of rural and urban areas in a synergetic manner adopting a ‘regional planning approach’, promoting inclusivity by ensuring urban services to all, sustainable urban planning, empowering municipalities to improve governance and deal with exclusion issues, housing for all urban poor and ensuring social justice and gender equity.
The challenges of Urbanisation
- The challenges include: Huge investment required and waste management.
- Waste management cannot be achieved unless the community takes responsibility. The implementation of it is a simple task which involves segregation at the source. We see that people do not cooperate.
Other Government Initiatives
- Under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan which is for rural India for making sustainable and self reliant villages. Under this lot of money is provided to the panchayat and we hardly see any progress. The problem is with the planning and not just with the implementation. In the policies and the measures there is lack of sustainability of the measures.
- The Housing for all initiative creates a direct and indirect impact on the employment.