HUDCO can play pivotal role in improving rural life: Reddy
New Delhi, Apr 26 (UNI) Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy today asked the public sector Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO)to take up projects providing urban amenities in rural areas.
Addressing the annual day celebrations of HUDCO here, Mr Reddy emphasised the need to improve facilities in rural areas so that the people could get all amenities and earning opportunities near their place of residence.
There wa a great potential to solve many problems that both urban and rural areas are facing these days. Overcrowding, congestion, stress on basic facilities, traffic congestion, housing shortage were linked to uncontrolled migration to cities. If PURA was implemented along with other schemes already in operation in a proper and organised manner, planned urban development could take place in a much efficient manner, he said.
The Urban Development Minister said many schemes were underway to improving the quality of life of all citizen, particularly the poor.
''I feel that all growing cities should have access to basic living and sanitation so that migrants do not have to live in unhygienic conditions,'' he said.
The launch of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission was a step towards making the cities efficient, equitable, responsive and accountable, he said.
Observing that HUDCO has a very important role in this new programme, he said involvement of the organisation in the urban renewal mission programme would be an asset and would provide the necessary drive to this programme.
HUDCO's expertise could help draw city development plans, investment and project planning, he added.
With the opening up of economy and better access to external works, Mr Reddy said the government was receiving a lot of demand from countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific for assistance in urban management. It was time now to use the in-house resources for providing to other countries.
Addressing the gathering, Union Minister of State for Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja said India had one of the brightest technical workforce in the world and its economy was the fourth biggest economy in the world after US, Japan and China. But despite these positive points on the economic front, the magnitude of poverty in the country was fairly high, she said, emphasising that the benefits of economic development must reach the poor.
As per the census of 2001, the total housing shortage in India is 31.1 million dwelling units, out of which, 24 million dwelling units are required in rural areas and 7.1 million in urban areas.
In addition, 21.6 million 'kutcha' houses also need upgradation to facilitate better habitation to rural and urban population of the country, she said.
UNI KAS PA ND1750