Urban infrastructure city's backbone: Asok Bhattacharya

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Kolkata, Mar 19 (UNI) West Bengal Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister Asok Bhattacharya today said with 2.4 per cent growth rate in cities, urbanisation is the need of the hour.

While inaugurating 'Infra East 2008', organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (Eastern Region), the minister said an increase in urbanisation required greater infrastructure network, which is currently absent in our state.

Mr Bhattacharya said, ''For meeting huge infrastructural demands, there should be complimentary reliable services and the urban poor should be included within the plans for growth and development.'' While outlining the state government's strategies for "planned urban growth", he said that there are about 169 projects being implemented under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission in the state.

The minister also reiterated that to meet the growing infrastructural demands, the state government had been encouraging the private-public-partnership policy.

Speaking on the occasion, National Committee on Infrastructure Chairman CII Vinayak Chatterjee remarked, ''Desperate times call for desperate measures.'' Calling for a strong PPP policy for infrastructure in the states, as well as in the country, Mr Chatterjee stressed on the need for capital formation for infrastructure, which could be allotted off budget.

He also recommended a special secretariat reporting directly to the chief minister's office for creating, implementating and monitoring the infrastructural policies of the state.

UNI LL PP DB1846

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