REFORMS IN URBAN PLANNING CAPACITY IN INDIA

Recently, NITI Aayog has launched the report titled ‘Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India’.

Important points:

  • India’s population stood at 1210 million in 2011, with an urbanisation level of 31.1% (Census of India 2011)
  • Urbanisation is an increase in the number of people living in towns and cities.
  • The distribution of urban centres and the pace of urbanisation is not uniform across the country.
  • Over 75% of the urban population of the country is in 10 States: Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Kerala.

Need for Reforming Urban Planning Capacity:

  • Increasing Urbanisation: India’s urban population is 11% of that of the world.
  • However, in absolute numbers, the urban population in India is more than highly urbanised countries/regions like the United States, Japan, Western Europe, and South America.
  • During 2011-36, urban growth will be responsible for 73% of the rise in total population in India.
  • Urbanisation is Central to India’s Economy: Urbanisation contributes nearly 60% to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • However, there exists large, untapped economies of scale.

Recommendations:

  • Central Sector Scheme ‘500 Healthy Cities Programme’, for a period of 5 years, wherein priority cities and towns would be selected jointly by the states and local bodies.
  • The Programme can lead to optimum utilization of urban land as well.
  • To bring in more institutional clarity and also multi-disciplinary expertise to solve urban challenges.
  • The formation of an apex committee at the state level is recommended to undertake a regular review of planning legislations (including town and country planning or urban and regional development acts or other relevant acts).
  • These include the adoption of fair processes for procuring technical consultancy services, strengthening project structuring and management skills in the public sector, and empanelment of private sector consultancies.
  • The constitution of a ‘National Council of Town and Country Planners’ as a statutory body of the Government of India.
  • Also, a ‘National Digital Platform of Town and Country Planners’ is suggested to be created within the National Urban Innovation Stack of MoHUA.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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