Half of India will be cities by 2051: Top official

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New Delhi, Aug 8 (UNI) Half of India's population will reside in urban settlements by 2051 and the number of million plus cities would be 75 by then.

Dr M Ramachandran, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, gave out these figures after signing a joint statement of cooperation with German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations. The German side was represented by GTZ Director Mr Bischoff.

''The Indian Economy has enjoyed a high growth rate during the past few years and it is widely believed that this trend is likely to continue for some time to come and Urban India is likely to be the engine of this growth,'' he said.

The contribution of urban India to the GDP is likely to be around 75-80 per cent. It was thus essential for cities to be able to support this kind of growth, he said.

The statement covered such areas as sustainable urban management, strengthening of Municipal institutions, city to city cooperation, private sector participation, urban sanitation issues etc.

Other significant areas that will be covered under the bilateral ties include capacity building and training, financial sustainability, exposure to best western practices in Germany and Europe through training and capacity building programmes and Technical Support for implementation of infrastructure development of satellite towns and counter magnets of million plus cities, good governance, green buildings and energy efficient measures.

The GTZ promotes complex reforms and change processes, often working under difficult conditions. Its corporate objective is to improve people's living conditions on a sustainable basis.

UNI MMG SK KN1904

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