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India : Centre urges states to promote 'citizen participation' in urban planning and development.

Seeking a paradigm shift in urban development planning, the central government has urged the states and urban local bodies to identify urban development needs and priorities through citizen participation in decision making. This was the thrust of the new Urban and Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation Guidelines released today by the Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu here today. These Guidelines were finalized and released after six months of consultations with states and other stakeholders by the Ministry of Urban Development and its Town and Country Planning Organisation.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Naidu invited the attention of the states to the Prime Minister s assertion on promoting citizen participation in taking forward new urban initiatives like building Smart Cities, New Mission for 500 Cities, Housing for All etc.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu stressed that top-down approach so far adopted for urban development schemes have not yielded desired results and hence, his Ministry has undertaken extensive stakeholder consultations with states, urban local bodies and others to promote a bottom-up approach through their involvement in designing of urban development schemes right from conceptualization onwards.

The new urban planning guidelines seek to promote local and area level planning, investment planning, special purpose planning like in the case of city sanitation and mobility plans. Referring to the guidelines, Shri Naidu has urged the states to set up City Infrastructure Funds exclusively for promotion of infrastructure.

Expressing concern over very low ranking of India regarding ease of doing construction business in urban areas Shri Naidu has urged the states to enable approvals for construction projects in a maximum period of 30 days. Stating that at present it takes 90 to 600 days for obtaining such approvals, Shri Naidu said that it has been agreed in an Inter-ministerial meeting held recently, to simplify and rationalize the number of clearences required to sanction approvals in a maximum period of 30 days.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu urged the states to modify Building Bye-Laws to enable effective use of diminishing land resource, promote ease of doing business, encourage green construction practices, use of solar power, rainwater harvesting, zero waste discharge and enable cities to mitigate and effectively face natural disasters.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu announced that simplified Delhi Building Bye-Laws will soon be notified which will address the obstacles being faced in the context of rapid urbanization.

The Minister while underscoring the importance of GIS and Remote Sensing based Master Plans urged the states to ensure such Plans for all urban areas within one year.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Feb 19, 2015
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