"With the current rate of urbanisation, around 64 % of our citizens will be living in cities. To stop more people from migrating to cities, urban facilities should be taken to rural areas," said Certes Realty director Ramesh Menon, speaking during the 'session.
Menon advocated careful use of the land bank since it is a limited resource. He said the government must avoid acquiring fertile land from farmers unless benefits are really high. "Land acquisition requires active government participation. Without it, the private sector cannot move. But if Shanghai and Osaka can expand and set examples before the world, why can't we do it?" asked Menon.
UP has an area of 241,000 sq kilometers with a 19.5-crore population and requires a huge infrastructural push. Menon said there are opportunities in every sector, but especially in agriculture as it accounts for about 70% of the state's economy. He said, "Big warehouses must be constructed to save produce.
Besides, food-processing units and juice units could be constructed. There is a lot of scope for research and a lot of talent in this sector." Menon pointed out that 63% of fruits and vegetables currently perish during transportation in India, whereas in New Zealand the transit decay has been limited to 0.3%.
He suggested UP, which surrounds Delhi on three sides, can take advantage of the 'saturation' of the land bank there and develop a supply chain for the city.
"Existing cities must be reinvented, instead of developing new ones. Industries must be given some advantages so they bring more investment to the state," Menon concluded.