'300 mn people expected to migrate to cities in 25 years'

'300 mn people expected to migrate to cities in 25 years'
About 300 million people in India would migrate to cities in the next 25 years, and it is necessary to understand the challenges this would pose, a parliamentary standing committee on science, technology, environment and forests said here today.

Addressing a press conference, the committee chairman Ashwani Kumar said all aspects of urban renewal with reference to Mumbai were discussed at a meeting with representatives of civil society, urban town planners and the state today.

"The need of the hour is to apprise ourselves about the state of cities. It is said Mumbai, which is our window to the world, is a city in decay. We tried to understand the enormity of the situation. We need to work on a long term plan for urban renewal. There should be a bipartisan approach to prevent decay of the city," Kumar said.

He said issues of development in coastal regulation zone areas, challenges for Mumbai as coastal city, issue of dumping grounds, open spaces, air, water and noise pollution, mangroves, satellite townships, sewage and solid waste management, health concerns, among others were discussed.

After getting action plans from the authorities concerned and organisations on these issues, the committee would prepare a report within three months, he said.

The committee will visit the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre here tomorrow.
On the enforcement of CRZ rules, Kumar said the committee expected the rule of law to prevail. "We need to have harmonious interface between imperatives of development and environmental concerns," he said.

A total of 16 civil society organisations representing sectors like forest conservation, energy efficiency, water conservation, fishermen welfare, urban dwelling, took part in the meeting.

Noted architect Hafeez Contractor was also present.

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