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Delhi development plan "outdated": Kamal Nath

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 00:06

New Delhi: Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday slammed the development plan for the national capital, saying that "Delhi has the most outdated planning".

"Delhi has the most outdated development plans... That is one reason why enforcement is difficult here," Nath said.

"In Delhi, we have 1,600 unauthorised colonies; (India is) the only country in the world which has a terminology called regularised unauthorised colonies," he said.

Criticising the Delhi Master Plan, Nath said, "We have a Master Plan 2021 and it came in 2007. I have thousands of representations against it."
He was speaking at the launch of a book, `Urbanisation in India`, here.

The book, edited by Isher Judge Ahluwalia of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, Ravi Kanbur of Cornell University and PK Mohanty, Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, addresses critical issues related to urbanisation and puts forth suggestions for better planning and financing alternatives.

"Urbanisation is the great challenge facing India now," Nath said.

Development is always accompanied by urbanisation, Nath said, adding that the current share of urban populations was more than 80 per cent in developed countries.

Acknowledging the slow pace of urban infrastructure development in India, he said, "Urbanisation is the engine of growth and also poverty reduction. India is very late in urbanisation. Currently, there is an all-round urbanisation deficit.
"Huge infrastructure deficit means what we build in the next five or 10 years will not be for the future, but will be catching up with the past."

Meanwhile, taking a dig at the CAG without naming it, he said "We are looking for houses for economically weaker sections (EWS). But given land prices, how does one build houses for the EWS?

"Some audit, as we have examples, will say why did you build for the EWS... Suddenly some body pronouncing presumptuous losses and blaming it all on policies. So how you build for EWS on government land? This is a new challenge."

First Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 00:06
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