We are not prepared for urban explosion: Jaipal Reddy

New Delhi, Nov 23 (Inditop.com) Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy Monday said the country is not prepared for the urban explosion that many towns and cities are seeing at the moment.

Urban development, not just in terms of infrastructure but also capacity building of people is, therefore, what is urgently required to meet the challenges, he said.

“We are not prepared for urban explosion and, therefore, there is a huge need for capacity building,” Reddy said at the inaugural session of a two-day conference on good governance and improved basic services in the capital.

“Keeping this in mind we have set up 13 urban centres of excellence across the country in IITs and IIMs, including TERI, which has experts addressing various challenges of the urban world like waste management, climate change adaptation and solid waste management,” he added.

According to Chris Heymans, director of the water and sanitation programme of the World Bank, while development of infrastructure is important, what is equally important is the development of a system that supports that infrastructure.

“In that context, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) makes an important statement. It should not be all about schemes and funds, but also about a strong system to carry those schemes to its logical conclusion and a better delivery system,” he said.

Accountability of people involved in the various development programmes is also very important for any scheme to be successful, Heymans added.

Climate change expert R.K. Pachauri further said in order that urban development takes place but not at the expense of adverse effect on the environment, public transport system should be one of the primary focus.

“Public transport and the urban transport system should be of primary focus in order for urban development to take place in the true sense of the word. Take the example of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor – it’s an ideal example of improving the transport system of the country and there should be more like this in every city,” Pachauri said.