Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has suggested a 25-point charter for urban planning and management to ensure planned urbanisation, assured amenities and a decent urban life.
Naidu, who is also holding the charge of the Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs ministries, came up with the charter while addressing the Conclave of Ministers of Housing and Urban Development of States and Union Territories in New Delhi on July 3.
He also called for ‘out of box’ thinking and solutions to address emerging challenges of urbanisation in the country.
Naidu said, “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 the right earnest, and hence, the central government’s initiative of providing housing to all by 2022.”
He said after the recent general elections, it is time for the central and state governments to move forward as ‘Team India’ as desired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He 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, 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 shortage of 300 lakh houses in urban areas by 2022, various options including channelising 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.
Venkaiah Naidu also urged the ministers to adopt a National Declaration on Housing and Urban Rejuvenation at the end of the day-long deliberations to affirm the Nation’s commitment to provide the pride of owning a house by all and particularly, the poor besides reaping the advantages of urbanisation in a systematic manner.