Maharashtra is one of India’s most urbanized states with 5.08 crore people residing in its cities. Soon, 50% of Maharashtra’s population will be living in cities. The load on the cities is increasing everyday because of education, business, and job opportunities. The development gulf between the urban and rural parts of the state also encourages the migration of people from rural areas.
Compounding the problem created by this unplanned urbanization is the lack of financial assistance or other assistance towards an urban development plan. Cities, contribute 60% of the state’s GDP, but states spend less than 1 % of that on city development initiatives.
My government wants to focus on vital areas that will augment the growth of cities that have become development hubs. A holistic development plan should lay emphasis on housing, roads and surface transport; health, education and sports infrastructure too. Urban development should focus on four aspects: planning, governance, finance and sectoral policy.
We want to bring key cities in Maharashtra under a special, time bound
urban development programme. One important decision in this direction is the long-pending approval for development plans of 22 cities. Our govt plans to launch an independent state urban development mission for 2030, as it is estimated that , by then, more than half the population will live in cities. Accordingly, we will have a plan modeled on the lines of the smart city idea. The emphasis will be on creating eco friendly cities in five years, each with an integrated transport system and a water management and distribution system on the PPPP model.
After Mumbai, the state government plans to develop Nagpur, Pune and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR)
Our thrust will be on housing for all and co- and- satellite-town-development. Well connected quality roads across the state, expressways linking all major cities and four lane state highways are the major initiatives. This will also aid the faster movement of agricultural products to cities, which will help address the the imbalance between urban and rural development. We believe that cities should not be the only avenues of development and growth in rural areas will check migration to cities.
For Mumbai, there have been 17 agencies entrusted with different tasks….but they lack co ordination.
Our government is gearing up to take on the challenge of preparing small towns and Tier two cities for the coming demographic change. This will require smart development control rules that enable faster building permissions.
Another major step is the announcement of new norms for building permissions, which will be granted in seven days to anyone willing to pick from among 56 types of plans and start construction on a freehold. Besides this, floor space index of up to four will be given for the construction of houses for police and public sector enterprise employees.
(This is an excerpt of an article that Devendra Fadnavis has written for the “Express Ideas Series”. Much of it pertains to Mumbai – the new international airport at Navi Mumbai, problems of Mumbai commuters, women’s safety etc. We have taken the parts that are of interest to Nagpur and re produced them)