Urban poor turning into a mammoth problem: Selja

Urban poor turning into a mammoth problem: Selja

Indian urban conference begins in city

She was speaking at the Indian Urban Conference 2011 at Narayana Murthy Centre of Excellence, Infosys campus at Hebbal Industrial Area.

The event is organised by Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy and South Asian Studies Council at Yale on November 17 and 18.

In her address, the minister said: “There is a dire need to address the issues of faulty urban land policy and urban planning models responsible for mushrooming of slums. Current land policies would need drastic changes to address the interests of the urban poor. The States need to re-look at the policies of making land and living space available to the masses in cities, especially the poor at a much faster rate than the pace of urban population growth.”

Pointing out that the major stakeholders in the development pie were urban areas, which had grown haphazardly despite major failure of city governance. “It has been our inability to address the needs of the poor. Cities need people to provide services and our people need a decent place to live. With urban areas assuming centrestage, India’s urban population is pitted to reach 500 million by the year 2030. If you ask someone, who is in charge of a city? there is no definite answer,” she said.

Infosys Chief Mentor and Chairman Emeritus N R Narayana Murthy said Public Private Participation was the way ahead for better urban planning, and this will have a bearing on the spending pattern on creating facilties and infrastructure.

“Better bonds have to be created between civilians and policy makers in the future. Better understanding of current level of stakeholders regarding urban problems is more than necessary,” he added.

Others on the dais included Swati and Ramesh Ramanathan of Janagraha, Aromar Revi of Indian Institute of Human Settlements and Shivaramakrishnan.