Partnerships vital for sustainable cities, says Selja

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New Delhi, Oct 6 (UNI) Minister of State for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja today stressed the need for addressing urban planning issues on a priority basis, saying it was the lack of proper planning and lack of vision regarding migration and city growth that had led to the mushrooming of slums.

Speaking on the occasion of the World Habitat Day, she said good governance played a critical role in urban sustainability and the long-term success of cities.

''Partnerships have to be built up on a larger scale between the governing and the governed, between the developed and the developing, between business interests and social justice between the empowered and marginalised,'' said the Minister.

The theme of this year World Habitat Day is Harmonious Cities, and to emphasis this the Minister said ''one cannot talk about harmonious cities, balanced territorial development and sustainable urbanisation without addressing the issues of gender equality.'' ''Equality, good governance, gender awareness in planning, involving women in the decision making process are essential to a harmonious cities, Ms Selja reiterated.

For cities to be harmonious, one needed to enhance the well-being of its citizens, ensure social and gender equality, reorient planning to achieve balanced territorial development and achieve environmental sustainability with economic development, she said.

The Minister is the present Chairperson of the 21st Governing Council of UN-HABITAT apart from being a Bureau member of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference for Housing and Human Development (APMCHUD) and member of Board of Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF).

Ambassadors and High Commissioners of various countries, representatives of various UN and other international organizations, and state and local bodies officials and mayors from 63 Mission Cities and other dignitaries attended the celebrations.

On this occasion, prizes for various competitions organized by National Housing Bank (NHB), Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) and Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO) were given away.

Some of these competitions were meant for physically and mentally challenged and also for street and shelter less children.

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