Urban affairs minister Kamal Nath is seeking a bigger role for private investment in the rebuilding of Indian cities. Monopolies such as the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) must be dismantled to allow a public-private model in creating housing stock and urban infrastructure, the minister said here today within a week of taking over his new portfolio.
"We are reviewing the urban renewal mission. Much of the programme of reforming urban local bodies did not work. There are issues of governance and implementation," Nath said.
Nath said the world would be looking keenly at how India handled its urbanisation. India will at the end of this decade have 500 million people living in cities, 60% of the gross domestic product would be generated in urban clusters and 70% of new jobs would be created in them. "Economic growth and urbanistion were moving together," he added.
Advocating a holistic approach to creating urban capacities, Nath said urban agencies like the DDA must make way for viable public-private partnership in developing real estate, particularly for houses for the poor. He said he was considering a model where private investors may be allowed to develop commercial and retail realty in poor neighbourhoods.
(The correspondent's travel and hospitality was paid for by CII)