Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Hardeep Singh Puri has said that there is eight-fold increase the total expenditure on urban development as over the past six years (2015-2021), this figure is about Rs. 11.83 lakh crore against the Rs. 1.57 lakh crores from 2004 to 2014. He said the government has not only successfully operationalised ambitious schemes, but also mainstreamed aspects such as climate change and heritage conservation. The Minister was addressing the inaugural session of ‘Connect Karo 2021 – Towards Equitable, Sustainable Indian Cities’ event in Delhi yesterday.
He said that even as cities become the engines of our country’s economy, it is equally important to address the infrastructure deficits that will arise from rapid urbanisation and complex migrant flows. By 2030, the urban population in India will almost double to 630 million. If we are to facilitate this level of growth, we will need to upgrade our urban infrastructure considerably and horrific impact of COVID-19 on our cities has made this even more significant, he said.
Speaking on the adverse impact of growth of urbanization, Minister said that realising the potential of our cities is not just an economic imperative; it is also an environmental reality. Our cities will be the battlegrounds for the fight against climate change. As the recent IPCC report suggests, cities are the major contributors as well as worst affected from climate change and this has led to the Indian Government successfully executing the most comprehensive and planned urbanisation programme anywhere in the world.