New Delhi[ India], September 16 (ANI): The NITI Aayog on Thursday launched a report on measures to ramp up urban planning capacity in India, recommending 'Healthy City for All' by 2030.
The report also recommended a Central Sector Scheme '500 Healthy Cities Programme', for a period of 5 years, wherein priority cities and towns would be selected jointly by the states and local bodies.
Commenting on the report, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said, "In the coming years, urban India will power the growth of the Indian economy. Urban challenges, including town planning, need greater policy attention in our country. There is a compelling need to plug the gaps in urban planning capacity in the country, else a huge opportunity for rapid, sustainable and equitable growth would be at risk of being missed."
The report, titled 'Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India', stated that all the cities and towns under the proposed 'Healthy Cities Programme' should strengthen development control regulations based on scientific evidence to maximize the efficiency of urban land.
It recommends that the states/UTs may need to expedite the filling up of vacant positions of town planners, and additionally sanction 8268 town planners posts as lateral entry positions for a minimum period of 3 years and a maximum of 5 years to meet the gaps.
CEO Amitabh Kant emphasised, "Urbanisation is the driving force of the Indian economy. The country has reached a turning point in its transformation. It will be half urban in a couple of decades. This is the first time in the history of India that the question of urban planning capacity has been dealt with in depth."
The report has been developed by NITI Aayog, in consultation with concerned ministries and eminent experts in the domain of urban and regional planning. It presents a condensed outcome of the extensive deliberations and consultations conducted over a period of 9 months. The Central universities and technical institutions in all the other States/UTs are encouraged to offer postgraduate degree programmes (MTech Planning) to cater to the requirement of planners in the country in a phased manner.
The report recommended the constitution of a 'National Council of Town and Country Planners' as a statutory body of the Government of India. Also, a 'National Digital Platform of Town and Country Planners' is suggested to be created within the National Urban Innovation Stack of MoHUA. This portal will enable the self-registration of all planners and evolve as a marketplace for potential employers and urban planners. (ANI)