Collective effort needed to tackle urban challenges: Vyas

Last Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 - 16:05

New Delhi: Four to five ministries should work together to address the challenges of urban planning and mobility, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Girija Vyas on Monday said.

She said urban mobility is a big challenge for the world, especially for developing countries, and traffic congestion, public transportation, connectivity and accidents are some of the major challenges facing India.

"Proper urban planning cannot be solved unless four to five ministries - Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Transport, Municipalities, Tourism and others join hands and work together and overcome these challenges," Vyas said in an event to mark the World Habitat Day today.

She said her ministry is providing affordable houses to poor people but the land which it is getting is in far off places and there are no transportation facilities there.

"We can develop the infrastructure there but we cannot build roads and that is why there is a need for five ministries to work together," she said.
She also pointed to the rising number of accidents in the country.

"The present accident rate in our country is 63 per cent. Road accidents increase upto 9.5 per cent every year and those getting injured in them too increases by 7.3 per cent every year. According to Ministry of Road Transport figures of 2012, 1822 accidents have been reported and the number of accidents in rural areas too has shown an increase," she said.

The increasing number of private vehicles is posing a challenge, she said.

"How can we stop them or devise a system in which a certain number of vehicles will be allowed per year needs to be looked into. Presently, private vehicles are increasing by 65-70 per cent and this poses a challenge. Vehicle sharing, which is done in other countries also, needs to be adopted here," she said.

Vyas said her ministry is doing a lot to increase public transportation and has taken the Metro to 2-tier cities like Jaipur and Haryana apart from Mumbai.

She stated that the theme of urban mobility chosen for this year?s World Habitat Day is very relevant for India because mobility and access to goods and services is essential for efficient functioning of expanding cities and towns.

She also said that her ministry is also working on providing housing and livelihood to urban residents through interest subsidy scheme- Rajiv Rinn Yojana and promoting affordable housing in partnership and creating rental housing.

PTI



First Published: Monday, October 7, 2013 - 16:05

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