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India will have to use its land more efficiently: Kamal Nath

He says India's 12th Five-Year Plan outlines the need to increase efficiency in land use.

Written by Agencies | Singapore | Published: July 3, 2012 4:34:53 pm

Highlighting the strong growth in its urban population,India,one of the densest nations in the world,today said that it is working on ways to use its land more efficiently.

India’s 12th Five-Year Plan outlines the need to increase efficiency in land use,as urbanisation increases and the number of Indian cities rises to 70 in the next decade from 55 at present with the flow of population shift from rural areas,Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath told the World Cities Summit here.

“We are working to formulate land use plans with town and city planners,” Nath said at a session on “In Focus: India”,pointing out that land was inefficiently used in India at present.

“If you take the population,and divide with the available land area,it is one of the dense countries in the world,” he said.

Elaborating,Nath said “If you take away the mountains,the forests,the deserts,the rivers and the lakes from the Indian land mass,the density of land-population will be very high.”

“So,we have to look at more efficient use of land,” he stressed,underlining the need to have strategic management for land assets.

He also highlighted the strong growth in urban population,estimating between 600 million to 700 million from 2020 onwards from the current level of over 400 million,which had grown by over 40 per cent from 285 million in 2001.

Reflecting the growth of urbanisation in India,the number of towns have increased by 55 per cent to 8,000 in 2011 from 5,161 in 2001,he said.

The India session,as part of the ongoing World Cities Summit,also highlighted various development plans including industrial and residential townships,as well as waste water management as part of massive infrastructure projects in the country,estimated to cost USD 1 trillion a year.

Nath said India would need a number of investment-based models of private public partnerships (PPP) in implementing the massive projects.

The PPP has been successful in a number of infrastructure projects but more similar schemes would be required to continue large scale development,he said,pointing to the challenges of managing mega developments in the coming decade with participation from the investment-savvy private sector,the people and the government institutions.

“We are appraising various PPP models and like to get a basket of PPP models”,said Nath,adding that one successful PPP model would not necessarily fit for another project.

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