03 Feb 2021: With Rs. 8,000 crore grant, India plans eight new cities
The central government is planning to build eight new cities to meet the demands of urban expansion.
The 15th Finance Commission has recommended a grant of Rs. 8,000 crore to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) for the cities.
According to the Ministry, each city will get Rs. 1,000 crore for initial development over the next five years.
Here are more details.
Details: India needs new cities, rejuvenation of old cities: Commission
According to the Finance Commission's report submitted to the government, India needs "both rejuvenation of old cities as well as the setting up of new cities."
It states that while setting up infrastructure can be less daunting for 'greenfield' cities than setting up such facilities in old established cities, land acquisition and rehabilitation are likely to pose a big challenge for 'greenfield' cities.
Quote: 'Problems more pronounced in states with higher population density'
The Finance Commission report states, "These problems are more pronounced in states that, because of their higher density of population, need such new cities more than sparsely populated states."
"Given these complexities, it is better to start on a pilot basis and, hence, we recommend a performance-based challenge fund of Rs. 8,000 crore to states for incubation of new cities," it adds.
Statement: Government will start working on framework soon
Speaking to reporters, Housing Secretary DS Mishra said MoHUA will soon start working on the framework for the proposed new cities.
"Details are being worked out. It will take time. As of now, we do not have any details on where these cities will come up; whether they will be 'greenfield' or carved out of the existing cities," Mishra said.
Urbanization: Most of existing cities have become saturated, says Mishra
Mishra said most of the existing cities have become saturated and are inadequate for catering to the growing population.
Referring to urban towns, he said, "Though urban in character, these towns do not have any planned development and are still run by gram sabha and panchayats. But there are about seven crore people living in these Census towns."