Connect Karo-2021: ‘India to have improved urban infra in next 30 years’
In the next 30 years, Indian cities will have improved urban infrastructure and will be better equipped to accommodate the population migrating from rural pockets, said Durga Shankar Mishra, secretary of Union ministry of housing and urban affairs at the India-Latin America urbanisation dialogue on Wednesday, which was part of the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) annual flagship event ‘Connect Karo’.
Discussing the growth and challenges of urban development that both India and Latin America are facing, Shankar said that in the coming years, the size of cities in India will grow, and so will opportunities for development and challenges attached to it. “The Covid-19 pandemic has slowed down the speed of economic development globally, and it has also hit India. We are channelling all our resources to meet the targets we have set for our developmental projects,” said Shankar.
He added India has been working on several developmental programmes to tackle various aspects of urban growth, such as sanitation, infrastructure development and management. These programmes have already started yielding results, said Shankar.
A report by the WRI (India) shows 66% urban growth in the country is outside municipal limits, which indicates the need for better metropolitan planning, said experts.
“Urbanization in India is at about 35% currently, though studies suggest that if a Latin American definition for urban population (such as Mexico’s) was applied, it would be around 65%. Rapid urbanisation in India is pushing the need for supply of land and infrastructure, affordable housing and the requirement of finance across metropolitan areas,” said Madhav Pai, executive director, WRI India Ross Centre.
While exchanging ideas, Adriana Lobo, executive director of WRI (Mexico and Columbia), said one of the greatest challenges that the region is facing is the inequity in the distribution of population based on their economic background.
“In the last 30 years, Mexico’s population, for instance, has doubled, but there is no equity in the way this population is distributed. One of the ways to tackle urban inequity that we have seen is the increase in mass transportation networks,” said Lobo.