50 pc population will be urban by 2051

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Mumbai, Jun 11 (UNI) Burgeoning urbanites, expected to swell to 50 per cent of the population by 2051 have thrown a daunting challenge to meet huge investment requirements and sustain infrastructure and amenities to the growing population.

Speaking at the fifth annual SKOCH Summit here today, Union Urban Development Secretary M Ramachandran said that the number of urban agglomerations and towns stood currently at 5,161 as against 3,697 in 1991. the Urban population growing three per cent annually would lead to atleast 75 metropolitan centres with over a million population and 75 to 80 per cent of the Gross Domestic product would be churned by them, playing a key role in national development.

He said the extent and magnitude of urban bulk calls for extra efforts to be made by city planners and administrators to cope up with the ever growing strain on urban infrastructure along with exploring the options for resource mobilisation so that Urban Local bodies not only create and strengthen the infrastructure provisioning but also sustain operation and maintenance.

He said the investment requirement during the eleventh five year plan period between 2007-12 for urban infrastructure development was estimated at 1,29,000 crore for augmenting water supply, sewerage, drainage and solid waste management alone.

Dr Ramachandran said stakeholders in Urban India should reengineer themselves to face the emerging challenges by improving the quality of life in cities through improved governance by reinventing a city as an inclusive city.

As the Urban Local Bodies would not be in a position to take up the challenge, the Ministry of Urban Development had initiated institutional, fiscal and financial reforms and steps were being taken to provide constitutional status to these bodies.

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