Union Budget 2021 Expectations: Tackling air pollution a must! Why it is imperative to focus on urban improvement

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Updated: Jan 06, 2021 4:26 PM

Befitting every traveller and every citizen's basic need to breathe fresh air, there are many aspects to urban planning that can depict a brighter story once corrective measures are put in place.

union budget 2021, union budget expectations 2021Budget 2021 Expectation: East Delhi transit oriented development hub. (Image: CP Kukreja Architects)

Budget 2021 expectations: Breathe in, breathe out is a known mantra for sustainable living. Wondering what budget 2021 expectations have to do with deep breathing? Think again especially if you live in cities where smog smothers your right to take deep breaths! While it is a known fact that deep breathing exercises are essential for one’s mental well being and physical health, people living in cities are afraid to breathe due to the hazardous air they are forced to inhale. For those who are living in cities like Delhi where air pollution levels are increasingly hazardous, this poses grave concerns.

Given the emphasis being placed on ramping up urban development and planning Smart Cities, the need of the hour is to allocate sustainable solutions to issues related to tackling air pollution in cities and streamlining healthcare as well as infrastructural gaps that are a gray area in urban planning and development.

Expectations from Budget 2021: Focus on urban improvement

According to Dikshu C. Kukreja, Principal Architect & Urban Designer, CP Kukreja Architects, “As India strides towards urban development and as the population of the country moves towards cities, with urban migration continuing unabated, it is expected that within the next ten years, 40 percent of the country’s population would be living in cities. This means that we would be requiring a size equivalent to a new Chicago metropolitan area every year to take care of the large population accumulation due to this urban migration.”

“It is imperative we spend the budget with a thrust on urban improvement strategies, in addition to policies already in place such as AMRUT, Smart Cities,” he added.

In 2018, CPKA was ranked among the top 100 architecture firms in the world by World Architecture, a UK based organisation. Notably, it is also the first Indian design firm to have a US-based design practice, thereby specialising in Sustainability.

Budget 2021 expectations for tackling environmental issues

Highlighting the gravity of addressing environmental issues including air pollution, Dikshu C. Kukreja told Financial Express Online, “These also need to be implemented with a special focus on aspects of environmental issues such as quality of air and water, land and our natural resources. We cannot continue to wait and watch as our cities and the quality of living deteriorates and becomes a health hazard for all. For the country to progress, the thrust has to remain on infrastructure; one expects more to be spent on education (schools, skill centres etc.), healthcare, public transportation which are going to be the main drivers of the economy in the coming years.”

Befitting every traveller and every citizen’s basic need to breathe fresh air, there are many aspects to urban planning that can depict a brighter story once corrective measures are put in place.

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