The Centre plans to set up an urban academy to serve as a platform for experiment in a variety of fields such as landscaping and heritage preservation.
The Union Urban Development Ministry believes the proposed academy, which is being billed as part of its second-generation urban reforms, will become a centre of excellence in dealing with issues of water supply, sanitation, transport, governance and municipal finance.
Official sources say the Ministry plans to set up such a facility as an ideal town-planning habitat in which experts from India and abroad can experiment with new layouts and building material apart from landscaping and heritage preservation.
It will have synergic links with all other institutions specialising in urban matters.
Also, the Ministry is considering proposals to have a regulatory framework to protect consumers while allowing participation of private players in financing and infrastructure delivery at the municipal level.
Such a framework will also aim to ensure adherence to environment standards and support delivery to the poor.
As there are a variety of models of such regulation from centralised to decentralised systems, guidelines will be chalked out at the national level to ensure consistency across the country, sources say.
Appropriate training programme and capacity support to regulators will also be developed in partnership with the private sector and urban research institutions.