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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014

Modi govt draws blueprint for urban growth schemes

Mahesh Langa , Hindustan Times  Ahmedabad, August 19, 2013
First Published: 23:25 IST(19/8/2013) | Last Updated: 23:27 IST(19/8/2013)

The rapid urbanisation in Gujarat has pushed the Narendra Modi government to chalk out an “Inclusive Urban Development in Gujarat: Vision 2030”. Its focus would be on housing, education, health and skill development.

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The intervention is timely, given the rapid urbanisation witnessed across the country. In absence of proper planning, the infrastructure in most metros is under considerable pressure and realty prices have skyrocketed.

When it comes to urbanisation, Gujarat goes considerably over the national average. As per Census 2011, the state has 42.58% urban population against the national 31.16%.

“Our focus is on creating roads, sewerage, drainage, mass transportation, health and housing,” said GR Aloria, principal secretary, urban development, who is preparing the document.

A new policy on affordable housing will also be out within two weeks. “It will aim at encouraging private developers to build houses for the lower and middle income groups,” Aloria added.

Over the last decade, infrastructure in cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot has been developed, but there has been a huge shortage of affordable housing.

The slums in the state are worse off other states. “As per 2011 census, about 48% slums in Gujarat are of ‘good condition’, the rest are either livable or dilapidated. The national average is 58.41% in good condition,” said a professor of IIM-A.

In fact, housing was one of the key issues during the last assembly polls. With the opposition Congress launching its “your own house” scheme, the BJP promised to build five million housing units over the next five years and the government had to revive the defunct Gujarat Housing Board.

The document will be released in a national conference on urban development to be organised by the state in October, said Aloria.


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