New Delhi: Cutting across party lines, members expressed concern over deteriorating condition of cities and asked the government to increase fund allocation for development of basic civic amenities in urban areas.
"The government needs to come out with an MNREGA-type scheme for urban areas to address the problem of unemployment in cities," Congress member Sanjay Nirupam said during a debate on demands for grants for Urban Development Ministry.
Higher allocation, he said, was necessary to provide facilities like drinking water, public transport, waste management, unemployment etc.
Pointing out that UPA has given more focus for development of rural areas, he said, in view of rising population of cities, the government should increase fund allocation for urban development from a meagre 0.1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 0.25 percent.
Nirpuam also wanted the Centre to provide special focus on problems of mega cities like Mumbai which were facing increased pressure on account of migration from rural areas and other centres.
Asking the government to pay more attention to problems of cities, Lalji Tandon (BJP said it was not proper for the Centre to always blame the states for deteriorating civic conditions in urban areas.
Allocation of funds under various schemes like the JNNURM and other programmes and their implementation is also the responsibility of the Centre, he added.
Participating in the discussion Shailendra Kumar (SP) highlighted the problems of cities and asked the Centre to support the scheme of states, especially Uttar Pradesh, to help them provide better transport and other facilities to people in urban areas.