Welcome all of you to the budget webinar on this vital topic - urban development.
It is unfortunate that after independence only a few planned cities were built in our country. Had 75 new and major planned cities been built in the last 75 years since independence, the picture of India today would have been totally different. But now in the 21st century, the way India is developing at a rapid pace, several new cities are going to be essential for India in the future.
In such a scenario, there are two main aspects of urban development in India. Development of new cities and modernization of old systems in old cities. Keeping this vision in the fore-front, our government has given immense importance to urban development in every budget. In this year's budget, an incentive of Rs 15 thousand crore has also been allocated for urban planning. I believe this will mark a new beginning of planned and systematic urbanization in the country and it will gain momentum.
Experts like you are aware that both urban planning and urban governance play a crucial role in urban development. Poor planning of cities or lack of proper implementation after planning can create major challenges in front of our development journey. Be it the special planning that comes under urban planning, be it transport planning, be it urban infrastructure planning, or water management, it is necessary to work in a very focused way in all these areas.
You must focus on three questions in different sessions of this webinar. Firstly- how to strengthen the urban planning ecosystem in the states. Second – how to properly use the expertise available in the private sector in urban planning. Third- How to develop such Centres of Excellence which will take urban planning to a new level.
All the state governments and urban local bodies must always remember one thing. They will be able to contribute to the development of the country only when they develop planned urban areas. We also have to understand this very well that in 'Amritkaal' only urban planning will determine the fate of our cities and only well planned cities of India will determine the fate of India. When planning is done well, our cities will become climate resilient and water secure.
I have a special request for the experts of urban planning and urban governance in this webinar. You should try to think of more and more innovative ideas. Be it GIS-based master planning, development of different types of planning tools, efficient human resources or capacity building, you can play a crucial role in every area. Today urban local bodies need your expertise. And this need is going to create many opportunities for you.
Transport planning is an important pillar of the development of cities. The mobility of our cities should be uninterrupted. You know very well the condition of metro connectivity in the country before 2014. Our government has worked on metro rail connectivity in many cities. Today we have gone ahead of several countries in terms of metro network. Now there is a need to strengthen this network and provide fast and last mile connectivity. And for this, efficient transport planning is necessary. All the components like road widening in cities, green mobility, elevated roads, junction improvement have to be made a part of transport planning.
Today, India is making the circular economy a major tool for urban development. Every day thousands of tonnes of municipal waste is generated in our country which include battery waste, electrical waste, automobile waste and tires as well as things that can be used for making compost. In 2014, only 14-15 percent waste processing was done in the country, but today 75 percent waste is being processed. If this was done earlier, the outskirts of our cities would not have been filled with heaps and heaps of garbage.
Today, by processing waste, work is being done to free the cities from these mountains of garbage. It has a lot of opportunities for recycling and circularity for many industries. Several startups are also doing a great job in this field. We need to support them. Industry should use the full potential of waste management.
After the success of the AMRUT scheme, we launched 'AMRUT-2.0' for clean drinking water in cities. With this plan, now we need to plan beyond the traditional model of water and sewage. Today in some cities the used water is being treated and supplied for industrial use. Immense possibilities are being created for the private sector in this area of waste management as well.
Our new cities should be garbage free, water secure, and climate resilient. Therefore, we need to increase investment in urban infrastructure and planning in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. Be it architecture, zero discharge model, net positivity of energy, efficiency in land use, transit corridors or use of AI in public services, this is the time to set new parameters for our future cities. We must see if the children are being taken care of in Urban Planning or not. Children no longer have sufficient space for playing or cycling. We also have to take care of this aspect in Urban Planning.
In the development of cities, it is also necessary to keep in mind the possibilities of development of the people in urban areas. That is, the schemes and policies that we are framing should not only make life easier for the people of the cities, but also help in their personal development. In this year's budget, a commitment has been made to spend about Rs. 80 thousand crore for the PM-Awas Yojana.
Whenever a house is built, several related industries like cement, steel, paint and furniture get a boost along with it. Just imagine the number of industries that will get a huge boost from it. Today the role of futuristic technology has increased a lot in the field of urban development. Our startups and the industries need to think in this direction and act fast. We must take advantage of the possibilities that exist, and also create new possibilities. From sustainable house technology to sustainable cities, we have to find new solutions.
I hope that all of you will have a serious deliberation on these topics. There might as well be several other topics apart from these. Take this idea forward and come up with the perfect roadmap to fulfil these possibilities.
With this spirit, once again my heartiest congratulations to all of you! Thank you very much!