The Minister while addressing the inaugural session of ‘Connect Karo 2021 – Towards Equitable, Sustainable Indian Cities’ event here today said that there can be no doubt that India’s cities—enabled by citizen-centric infrastructure and transformational technology—will be the key to achieving the nation’s development objectives. The five-day event is being organized by the World Resources Institute (WRI) through video conferencing.
He said that by 2030, almost 70% of the national GDP will come from our cities as rapid urbanisation facilitates efficiencies of agglomerations. The best-performing cities globally contribute five times more to national GDP than comparable Indian cities. We need to generate a similar density of economic activity from our cities to answer the calls of our honourable Prime Minister in becoming a five-trillion-dollar economy.
He added that even as cities become the engines of our country’s economy, it is equally important to address the infrastructure deficits that will arise from rapid urbanisation and complex migrant flows.
By 2030, the urban population in India will almost double to 630 million. If we are to facilitate this level of growth, we will need to upgrade our urban infrastructure considerably and horrific impact of COVID-19 on our cities has made this even more significant, he said.
Speaking on the adverse impact of growth of urbanization, Minister said that realising the potential of our cities is not just an economic imperative; it is also an environmental reality. Our cities will be the battlegrounds for the fight against climate change. As the recent IPCC report suggests, cities are the major contributors as well as worst affected from climate change and this has led to the Indian Government successfully executing the most comprehensive and planned urbanisation programme anywhere in the world.
The Minister informed that Government will be launching the Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban), with an outlay of Rs. 2.8 lakh crore to ensure universal water supply in all 4,378 urban local bodies in India and enable liquid waste management in 500 cities under the AMRUT scheme.
Besides, the Government also be launching the Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0, with an outlay of Rs. 1.41 lakh crores to focus on sludge management, waste water treatment, source segregation of garbage, and reduction in single-use plastics and control of air pollution by waste management in construction and demolition, and bio-remediation dump sites.