Tag Archives: Union Urban Development Minister

Centre is in the process of finalising 100 smart cities’ contours: Secretary, MoUD

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ASSOCHAM, Venkaiah Naidu, Union Government, Union Urban Development Minister, Indian real estate news, Indian realty news, India property market, Investment in real estate, Track2Media Research, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty-Agencies: The Centre is in the advance stage of finalising the contours of its ambitious 100 smart cities’ project and has sought comments and suggestions from the private sector including the academia and the industry, a top Urban Development Ministry official said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Nov 12, Wednesday.

“We have already put up a draft concept paper on our website and once we finalise the contours we will go to the EFC (Expenditure Finance Committee) and to the Cabinet,” said Shankar Aggarwal, secretary, Ministry of Urban Development while inaugurating a national conference on ‘Opportunities & Challenges@100 Smart Cities,’ organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

“It will take a little bit of more time as it is a huge task and we got to have wider consultation with everyone, all stakeholders have to be consulted and we are in the process of doing that,” said Aggarwal.

“We are in the process of identifying those 100 smart cities in consultation with their state governments,” he added. “We have got to focus on satellite towns of mega cities as well as the mid-size towns.”

The top Urban Development Ministry official said that the Government wants to achieve 100 per cent reliable and robust connectivity while taking the advantage of information and communication technology (ICT) under smart cities.

“The idea is to get 24×7 electricity and water supply, cyber connectivity and urban mobility with a very good quality of public transport system.”

Talking about the role of private sector in developing smart cities across India, the secretary said “Almost 98 per cent work has to be done by the private sector, academia and the industry while only two per cent i.e. the glue has to come from the Government of India.”

“We will be very happy to get your (private sector) comments and suggestions and we are open to all kinds of ideas as this journey can be travelled only with your assistance and support,” added Aggarwal.

Assuring of the Government support to the private sector, he said “I assure you that we will stand by you, we will strengthen your hand and ensure that this phase of transformation is successful and we are able to bring happiness and prosperity across India.”

On the issue of Central Government’s plan to build office complex in Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone, the MoUD secretary informed, “We are identifying the area within the Lutyens’ Bungalow zone and outside it for constructing some kind of a central place for all government meetings.”

Talking about the office-space requirement, Mr Aggarwal said “We will be requiring something like 100 acres of land as now we have been able to get the requirements of all the departments.”

Venkaiah Naidu asks real estate sector for ‘out of box’ ideas

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ASSOCHAM, Venkaiah Naidu, Union Government, Union Urban Development Minister, Indian real estate news, Indian realty news, India property market, Investment in real estate, Track2Media Research, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty-Agencies: Seeking ‘out of the box’ ideas from the real estate sector for affordable housing, the Government on Wednesday, Oct 1, said it will consider recommendations for investing insurance and pension funds in the sector.

“Real estate sector also has to work with out of box ideas to make a mark in affordable housing segment. This sector also has huge demand and opportunities,” Urban Development and Housing and Poverty Alleviation Minister Venkaiah Naidu said.

He was speaking at a real estate conference organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

“Recommendation pertaining to allowing insurance and pension funds to invest in real estate sector will also be taken up in due course,” Naidu said.

The NDA government has promised to provide housing for all by 2022.

Naidu said providing housing for all is a big challenge and the government needs public and private participation to meet the target. He also assured the industry that his ministry wants that affordable housing should be included in the priority sector lending by banks.

“We are pursuing with Finance Ministry regarding providing a sub-window of at least three per cent for affordable housing sector within 40 per cent priority sector lending allocation,” the Minister said.

He further said the need for ‘single window clearance’ is also being explored. “We are discussing how far it is possible with other ministries and state governments and also to give infrastructure status to housing sector,” Naidu said.

Responding to grievances of those in the real estate sector over delay in getting clearances including environment, Naidu said he is hopeful of finding a solution to this.

“As far as environment clearance is concerned, which is one of the reasons for long delays, I had discussion with the Environment Ministry and we hope to find some solution to this.”

“Once the Urban Development authority’s plan has been approved then there should not be any need for individuals to go for clearance for each and every project. We are considering the suggestion positively,” Naidu said.

Naidu said efforts are on to arrive at a consensus on the Real Estate Bill and it will be introduced in the next session of Parliament.

“We are proposing to bring the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill in the next session. We are holding discussion with various stakeholders and consumer forums to arrive at a consensus. We will be holding a final round of discussion before taking it to Parliament,” he said.

On the proposed ‘Smart Cities’, Naidu said his ministry is in the advance stage of finalisation of the contours of the project and hopes to finalise it and take it to the cabinet by November.

He, however, said the municipal bodies have to approve the reforms agenda to become part of the Smart City concept.

“You have to first identify the cities and city municipal bodies have to approve the reforms agenda to participate the Smart City concept. State governments also must stand by them and then we move forward. We also need to prepare detail project report (DPR) and then move forward,” he said.

Acknowledging a great demand for Smart city plan among various cities, Naidu said, “Cities cannot be constructed overnight. There is so much demand for smart cities and it has become flavour of the season. The process is on we are in advanced stage of finalisation of the various contours of the smart city concept.”

On the government’s ambitious Swachh Bharat Mission, he said sanitation and cleanliness should be part of the curriculum in schools to inculcate the idea at an early stage.

He has asked ASSOCHAM to constitute an award for maintaining cleanliness at offices.

Naidu said a high level committee is being formed to suggest ways for unclogging Delhi because the capital is heavily congested.

We are discussing it with various ministries including Defence, Railways, NHAI, Delhi Government and all have been asked to sit together on this. The committee has been asked to submit report in 45 days about ways and means for unclogging Delhi.”