Press Trust of India

  Half of country’s population will be living in cities in few decades: Union Minister

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Gandhinagar: Union minister of state for housing and urban affairs Kaushal Kishore said on Friday that the ongoing rapid urbanisation in India could lead to nearly half of the country’s population living in cities in the next few decades.

Kishore made the remarks during his address at the Livable Cities of Tomorrow’, a pre-Vibrant Gujarat Summit event, that commenced on Friday morning at Mahatma Mandir Convention Centre in Gandhinagar.

The 10th edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit, which will pitch the state as the most favourable investment destination, will be held here in January next year.

Koshore said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already launched various schemes for the welfare of city dwellers keeping in mind the future influx of people in cities.

“Earlier, 20 per cent of our population lived in cities, while 80 per cent in villages. Now, the share of the urban population stands at 30 per cent, while 70 per cent live in rural areas. Today, we are seeing a trend wherein people want to own a house in the city (where they work) and in their village too,” said the minister in his address.

“The way cities are being developed and urbanisation is picking up pace in the country, we expect that the ratio of the urban and rural population will be 50:50 in the next few decades, which means nearly half of the population will be living in cities. In view of this, PM Modi has already launched various schemes for the city dwellers,” said Kishore.

One such project launched by Modi was the Light House project’ of providing affordable and durable homes to the urban population, he said, adding that these houses can withstand earthquakes too.

The minister said that PM Modi is closely monitoring the progress made in 100 urban pockets under the Smart Cities Mission, which was announced by him in 2015.

After assuming office in 2014 for the first time, Modi started working on a project to provide houses to everyone and launched two schemes Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna-Urban and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna-Gramin, said Kishore.

“Around four crore families from rural as well as urban areas of the country have already been allocated homes with all the basic amenities under PM Awas Yojana and the allotment process is still going on,” said the minister.

He informed the audience that Modi was also instrumental in creating awareness about cleanliness by launching the Swachh Bharat Mission-I’ and Swachh Bharat Mission-II’ programmes.

To fight climate change and reduce pollution in cities, Kishore said, his department has already launched a project to provide electric public transport buses.

On the occasion, Gujarat Chief Secretary Raj Kumar informed the audience that the Diamond Research and Mercantile City or DREAM City near Surat, being developed as a smart city, will house nearly 5 lakh people once completed and create nearly 2 lakh jobs in sectors like diamond, textiles and hospitality.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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