Saturday, May 23, 2015

Urbanisation: Challenges and Opportunities

Urbanisation: Challenges and Opportunities

" India lives in cities/towns". Not correct? More familiar with "India lives in Village"? Time changed. India is on transition phase. 36% of its population live in urban areas and if added with suburbs and floating workforce coming to cities/towns; one can easily estimate that India lives in cities/towns. India is getting urbanised.

For last 10000 years from Mahabharat time, "Village Settlement", "Agro Estate" model India is settling very fast near the trade, business, manufacture and service centres. "Cities are labour markets earning more GDP than rural India". "Cities are engines of Growth".

It has posed challenges beyond the traditional Nagar; "water (nal), drainage(gatter), roads (raste); but bigger challenges of overcrowding, transport, traffic management, housing, health, education, electricity, slums, poverty, pollution, etc. People are vocal and demand services. 

European and American cities were like us 100-150 years ago. It took them 100 years to build present day cities. 

How to make city livable, sustainable and the people "Happy"?

How to balance consumption of land and optimize transportation?

How to allow market to take its own course of development of the city?

To follow "Top Down" FSI regulations that increased land prices and made administration corrupt OR to increase FSI to make more space available for streets to breath better? 

Indian economy move out of licence raj but it continued in city development plans.

Cities grow by classical model, polycentric model, composite model or urban village model. All types of growth picking up. If administrators fail in planning expansion of cities with infrastructure development, the auto expanded cities will cost 6-9 times more to repair it.

Indian States have tried different models but "Gujarat Model" of Development Plan (DP) and Town Plan (TP) is considered easier and faster in implementation with savings of land acquisition cost. Backed by Town Planning Act (1925, further amended in 1976), it has empowered the State to acquire 25% (now 40%) of the plot land without acquisition for infrastructure development and welfare plans. Once TP declared, with a formula of locational advantage valuation, final plots are given to all. State gets land for infrastructure and public places development and owners become rich by enhanced value of their land. The State of Gujarat could built Ahmedabad ring road in 2 years time and with simultaneously housing and commercial projects came up releasing pressure over old Ahmedabad city. It has applied same model in other cities.

On one end State and local bodies resources are shrinking and other end there is a need of Rs.4.9M CR finance to fill up the gap of urban infrastructure. Capacity improvement is pre condition to improve service delivery. Indian local bodies are starving for resources. Again Gujarat Model to follow giving grants from budget to compensate loss of Octroi income (State removed Octroi to promote businesses in the cities/towns). It has taken up infrastructure funding from JNNRUM and other CSS schemes as well as Schemes of the State Government.

However looking at the speed of urbanisation, the Governments have to engineered all models of Central funding, State funding, User Charges, selling FSI, PPP, sharing revenue to local bodies from GST etc.,

2000 towns of India are vibrating for Growth of India with a sizable people living in are in need of improvement of infrastructure (roads, drainage, water and power supply, etc), public places, public transport, housing, health and education facilities.

The Suburbs if developed with integrated transport facilities can reduce load over bigger cities. 24×7 electricity brought eGram and small businesses development in villages that slower down migration speed towards cities in Gujarat.

Streets are real estate, don't allow people to occupy space in parking. Provide better transport instead controlling FSI to avoid congestion in the city.

Let the people and the streets breath better to run faster as "India's Engine of Growth".



Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.