Rapid urbanization of historical cities pose a challenge: Selja



New Delhi: Rapid urbanisation has thrown a challenge at historical cities which are "yearning" for a more inclusive and sustainable process of urban development, Culture Minister Kumari Selja said on Tuesday.

Addressing the 5th ASEM meet in Indonesia's Yogakarta city, Selja said approximately 30 per cent of India's one billion population lives in urban areas and the cities of India are growing at an "unprecedented" scale and speed.

"Urbanisation is taking place at an unparalleled speed, throwing a challenge at the traditional historic cities. Historical cities are yearning for a more inclusive and sustainable process of urban development," Selja said.

The draft National Conservation Policy envisages strengthening the role of crafts people whose knowledge of building materials and traditional systems in conservation works is indispensable.

She noted new legislations of the Ministry of Culture AMASR Act 2010 [Ancient Monuments and Archaeological and Remains and Sites (Amendment and Validation) Act] provides for Heritage Byelaws to be prepared for every single monument of national importance.

Kumari Selja said India has been instrumental in supporting the preparation of the UNESCO/UN-HABITAT Toolkit on 'Historic Districts for All - India: A Social and Human Approach for Sustainable Revitalisation', comprising a manual for city professionals.

The minister said the Ministry of Urban Development government of India and UNESCO have developed a partnership "Moving towards Heritage-based urban development" to help safeguard and promote sustainable use of India's unique and diverse urban heritage.

PTI