Better infrastructure and excellent public services are key to enhancing efficiency and productivity of people in cities and towns to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of India when it completes 100th year of Independence, said Union minister Dr Jitendra Singh on Wednesday.
He was speaking at the two-day ‘National Convention on People Centric Urban Governance in India’ organised by the Indian Institute of Public Administration.
The minister said that the quality of life and ease of living must be ensured in towns and cities that contribute more than 80 per cent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“Citizen participation is as important as keeping pace with fast evolving technology tools in order to meet the rising public aspirations,” minister Dr Singh told the conclave in New Delhi.
He further said: “The share of agriculture and allied activities in GDP is about 18 per cent and the rest comes from the manufacturing and service sector, which take place primarily in cities and towns. These places contribute more than 80 per cent of the revenue. Thus, better infrastructure and excellent public services will bring in efficiency and enhance productivity.”
The two-day gathering of policymakers, researchers and academicians deliberated on several challenges facing urbanisation, such as mismatch in the services, amenities, infrastructure, municipal finance, and regional imbalance. Issues plaguing the development of cities were also discussed.
Policymakers noted that large variations in levels of urbanization ranging from Bihar (12 per cent) to Tamil Nadu (more than 50 per cent) are to be met with swift action. “Therefore, corrective measures need to be taken to reorient urban governance in the light of periodic assessments of the sector including the recent initiatives (urban missions and programs), regional and global urban agenda as per the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), COP: 26 and Global Urban Agenda (HABITAT III),” they said.
Some key focus areas of the conference were the structure of urban administration and management, tripartite synergy for delivery of urban missions/programs, adequacy of urban finance access to service, and sustainable habitat.