Urban planners and administrators must “shift from regulation to facilitation”, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday (13 July).
The Minister remarked that current urban planning norms are restrictive in nature.
Addressing the National Urban Planning Conclave, Puri said there is a need to “get rid of the planner’s mindset of imposing norms and rules” and stated that implementing urban planning reforms are making our cities attractive destinations for investments.
"I don’t know whether the planner’s mindset gives the norms and rules or it’s the civil servants’ desire to be regulatory, which gave the norms. I don’t know... Norms are good for control, but the problem is that our urban planning norms traditionally restrict rather than facilitate development today," he said
"Let us review provisions related to town planning, revenue processes, land administration, rent control etc, to create a flexible and enabling environment for the market to innovate and flourish,” Minister Puri added.
Incidentally, the national conclave is taking place at a time when many cities are facing the crises of flooding and water logging due to rains and poor drainage system.
Puri asked the planners to put the citizens at the heart of urban policy and the administrators to focus on financial self-reliance of cities and strengthening local governance.
He said that they have made a quantum jump in the quality of life of our cities by providing universal access to water and sanitation, creating sustainable transportation infrastructure and addressing affordable housing requirements.
Earlier, addressing the town planners and administrators from cities, Union Urban Affairs secretary Manoj Joshi flagged how nearly half of the states and most of the cities do not have urban planners and smaller cities have none.
Joshi said the Centre wants all states and cities to have urban planners in adequate numbers and this provision is being mandatorily linked to the special capital assistance of Rs 15,000 crore, which will be given to states during the current financial year.
The urban population in India is estimated to touch 80 crore in the next 25 years from the current 45 crore, and the urban GDP will increase from 60 per cent to 80 per cent, he added.
Joshi further added that urbanisation is the biggest investment happening in the country and as per the government plans, around Rs 400 lakh crore investment is required in the next 10-15 years for India to achieve the goal of a developed nation (Vikshit Bharat).
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