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Enhancing sustainability

LAST YEAR the theme for World Environment Day was sustainable cities. This was an international theme but pertinent for Madhya Pradesh, which has emerged as one of the fastest urbanising States of the country.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 19:59 IST

LAST YEAR the theme for World Environment Day was sustainable cities. This was an international theme but pertinent for Madhya Pradesh, which has emerged as one of the fastest urbanising States of the country.

A concept note on making Bhopal a Global Environment City, although still in the nascent stage has the potential to improve the sustainability quotient of the City and translate outcomes into real action.

The Bhopal Global Environment City Plan (BGECP) has been developed on the themes - water, greening, decongestion, transport and land management. The objectives will be to make the City aware of local and global environmental issues besides making it a model of green tourism.

The concept note prepared by EPCO is economically feasible, administratively executable and environmentally sustainable for Bhopal. It proposes to address a number of key on-going initiatives, create  ‘learning’ networks, fostering innovation, developing leadership and building capacity for urban governance.

The plan got a jumpstart after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan wrote a letter to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in January this year.

An advisory group offering expert inputs and making recommendation has been formed. A notification for the core group is  to be issued shortly. There are two exercises - technical and administrative going on simultaneously.
After this exercise, which is likely to take at least 3-6 months, the project with the concept paper and the costing will be submitted to the concerned ministry at the Centre.

According to official sources the population of Bhopal will grow at 30-35 per cent in the current decade and is likely to double by 2015. There is about 25 per cent shortage of housing in Bhopal of which the majority are poor people as 75 per cent of these households belong to the lower income group, economically weaker section and below poverty line category.

The year 2012 envisages Bhopal as a zero slum City with rehabilitation and relocation of as many as 25,000 slum dwelling units in a phased manner. Majority of the slums in the City lack basic infrastructure such as sanitation and solid waste management. Around 35 per cent of the population, which is 1.25 lakh households live in the slums.