At least half of the country’s population will live in towns and cities by 2050 creating a lot of pressure on housing sector and infrastructure, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said in New Delhi today, while stressing on the need to develop green and energy-efficient solutions to meet these needs. There are huge challenges to be overcome if the country has to sustain a rapid economic growth of close to 7 or 7.5 percent per year on a continuous basis.
“At the same time, we must ensure that the development is sustainable by protecting our environment and resources,” he said. Naidu was addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone for the World Trade Centre at Nauroji Nagar and redevelopment of Netaji Nagar General Pool Residential Accommodation Colony here. About 31.7 percent of the country’s population lived in urban areas in 2011. It is projected that over 50 percent of the people in the country will be living in cities and towns by 2050.
It is projected that the urban population will cross 80 crores by 2050. This means cities and suburbs will undergo significant transformation and there will be a lot of pressure on housing, he said. “Cities are the drivers of economic growth and all sections of people living in the cities need to be provided with adequate housing and other essential amenities. Besides providing housing to all citizens, there is a need to create a good infrastructure to cater to the needs of the burgeoning population,” he said. “There is a need to build green buildings and promote energy efficient and smart mobility solutions for optimum utilization of scarce resources and spaces. There is also a need to promote the concept of green and energy efficient buildings in a big way and create greater awareness among the citizens,” he added.
Exuding confidence that India is witnessing “urban renaissance” following the launch of Smart Cities Mission, the Vice President said that apart from improving quality of life, Smart Cities also seek to provide the clean and sustainable environment. “Besides providing housing to all citizens, we will need more roads, bridges, highways, round-the-clock electricity, adequate water supply, waste disposable systems, office and retail spaces, rapid transportation, airports, seaports and other infrastructure to cater to the needs of the burgeoning population,” Naidu said.