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Urban Planning Reforms: NITI Aayog

  • 18 Sep 2021
  • 7 min read

Why in News

Recently, NITI Aayog has launched the report titled ‘Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India’.

Key Points

  • Urbanisation in India:
    • Urbanisation Level (National):
      • India’s population stood at 1210 million in 2011, with an urbanisation level of 31.1% (Census of India 2011).
        • Urbanisation is an increase in the number of people living in towns and cities.
      • The distribution of urban centres and the pace of urbanisation is not uniform across the country.
        • Over 75% of the urban population of the country is in 10 States: Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Kerala.
    • State-wise Scenario:
      • Above National Average: Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Gujarat have attained over 40% urbanisation.
      • Below National Average: Bihar, Odisha, Assam, and Uttar Pradesh continue to be at a lower level of urbanisation than the national average of 31.1%.
      • Union Territories: NCT of Delhi, Daman and Diu, Chandigarh, and Lakshadweep, show above 75% urbanisation.
  • Need for Reforming Urban Planning Capacity:
    • Increasing Urbanisation: India’s urban population is 11% of that of the world.
      • However, in absolute numbers, the urban population in India is more than highly urbanised countries/regions like the United States, Japan, Western Europe, and South America.
      • During 2011-36, urban growth will be responsible for 73% of the rise in total population in India.
    • Urbanisation is Central to India’s Economy: Urbanisation contributes nearly 60% to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
      • However, there exists large, untapped economies of scale.
    • India’s National Growth Targets:.
    • National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP): The urban sector has a significant share of 17% in the NIP.
      • NIP facilitates infrastructure projects in the country with a projected investment of Rs 111 lakh crore during the period 2020-25.
    • India’s Global Commitments:
      • SDGs (Goal 11): Promote urban planning as one of the recommended methods for achieving sustainable development.
      • UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda: It was adopted at Habitat III in 2016. It puts forth principles for the planning, construction, development, management, and improvement of urban areas.
      • UN-Habitat (2020) mentions spatial sustainability, as a concept. It suggests that the spatial conditions of a city can enhance its power to generate social, economic and environmental value and well-being.
      • Paris Agreement: India’s National Determined Contributions (NDCs) includes the goals to reduce the emission intensity of the country's GDP by 33 to 35% by 2030 from 2005 level.
  • Recommendations:
    • Planning of Healthy Cities: Central Sector Scheme ‘500 Healthy Cities Programme’, for a period of 5 years, wherein priority cities and towns would be selected jointly by the states and local bodies.
      • The Programme can lead to optimum utilization of urban land as well.
    • Re-engineering of Urban Governance: To bring in more institutional clarity and also multi-disciplinary expertise to solve urban challenges.
      • The formation of an apex committee at the state level is recommended to undertake a regular review of planning legislations (including town and country planning or urban and regional development acts or other relevant acts).
    • Strengthening the Role of the Private Sector: These include the adoption of fair processes for procuring technical consultancy services, strengthening project structuring and management skills in the public sector, and empanelment of private sector consultancies.
    • Measures for Strengthening Human Resource and Match Demand–Supply: The constitution of a ‘National Council of Town and Country Planners’ as a statutory body of the Government of India.
      • Also, a ‘National Digital Platform of Town and Country Planners’ is suggested to be created within the National Urban Innovation Stack of MoHUA.
    • Citizen Outreach Campaign’ for demystifying urban planning.
    • Strengthening Urban Planning Education System.

Schemes/Programmes Related to Urban Development

  • Smart CitiesTo promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of Smart Solutions.
  • AMRUT Mission: To ensure that every household has access to a tap with the assured supply of water and a sewerage connection.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban: Aims at making urban India free from open defecation and achieving 100% scientific management of municipal solid waste in 4,041 statutory towns in the country.
  • HRIDAY: The National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), aims to bring together urban planning, economic growth and heritage conservation in an inclusive manner & with the objective of preserving the heritage character of the City.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban: Addresses Urban housing shortage among the Urban Poor including the Slum Dwellers by ensuring a pucca house to eligible urban poor.

Source: PIB

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