The sixth EuroIndia Summit on Greening Cities today emphasised the need to focus on a decentralised approach to development of urban areas in the country while encouraging public-private partnership projects.

At a meeting hosted here by the Confederation of Indian Industry and The EuroIndia Centre, Arun Maira, Member, Planning Commission, said India needs to rework its approach for development of urban areas by focussing on decentralisation.

He said Urbanisation is the way of the world, which brings both benefits and problems. India has not done enough in managing urbanisation efficiently. This is now changing with projects like JNNURM and Rajiv Awas Yojana. The former is the largest and most complex national project since independence.

“We haven’t done enough to implement the 74th amendment of the constitution (it seeks to strengthen local urban administration). People are happier when collaborating and doing things. We need to create networks that favour local bodies in development. More people now live in the same sq.km. This will only get bigger as we ad another 300 million,” Maira said.

Deepa Dasmunshi, Union Minister of State for Urban Development, said the urban population is projected to double by 2031 resulting in huge pressure on cities. To better manage urban projects, we need to focus on reforming governance and entrust more responsibilities to local bodies.”

M. Maheedhar Reddy, Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban development, Andhra Pradesh, said urban sustainability is next important aspect of development as the population in urban areas is expected to grow significantly in the next two decades. To address these concerns, the State has come out with various steps including promoting green townships, energy conservation code and integrated township policy.

Joao Cravinho, Ambassador Delegation of EU to India, said, “Local concerns and global concerns are two faces of the same coin which needs to be combated. This gathering opens doors to create new partnership between Europe and Hyderabad.”

rishikumar.vundi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 21, 2013)
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