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Productive Cities Imperative for an Atmanirbhar India, Says Hardeep Puri

Cities should generate economic activity of magnitudes to answer the calls of our Honourable Prime Minister in becoming a five-trillion-dollar economy, says Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs.

Photo Credit : Photo Division Ministry of I & B Govt. of India


Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri

Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Puri on Monday said that an Atmanirbhar India will only be possible if our cities become productive. The Minister said this while addressing the inaugural session of ‘Connect Karo 2021 - Towards Equitable, Sustainable Indian Cities’ event which is being organized by the World Resources Institute (WRI) through video conferencing. 

Hardeep Puri said that the best performing cities globally contribute five times more to national GDP than comparable Indian cities and to  answer the calls of our Honourable Prime Minister of India becoming a five-trillion-dollar economy, we need to generate a similar density of economic activity from our cities. He added that by 2030, almost 70% of the national GDP will come from our cities.

He further acknowledged 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.

He also highlighted that realising the potential of our cities is not just an economic imperative but 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," he added.

He also underlined that there has been an eight-fold increase in the total expenditure on urban development rising from Rs. 1.57 lakh crores (2004-14) to Rs. 11.83  lakh crore (2015-2021).

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