India should not replicate foreign models like that of China for urbanisation, and needs to create growth hubs across the country, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Thursday .
He also noted that the country needs to use less resources per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), whether it is materials or environment.
“We do not need to look for outside models for our own urbanisation. It is pity that we continuously look for outside models for copy and pasting.
“Given our diversity and plurality, we cannot let inequitable or unbalanced urbanisation in India. We cannot let India replicate what China has done,” Kumar said at an event here.
In China, development, modernisation has happened along the coastline, and other areas have remained backward, he said.
“As a result, on every Chinese New Year, you see 4-5 million Chinese moving from coastline areas to inwards..We cannot let that happen in our country. We cannot have people moving from South and West to East on festivals like Diwali, Holi or Chhath,” Kumar asserted.
Noting that India still does not have empowered cities, he stressed the need of resurrecting the old tradition of having strong mayors in cities.
“In India, I have not heard about any mayor like Mike Bloomberg (former New York City mayor). Earlier, there used to be mayor of Calcutta and Sheriff of Bombay, that all has gone. Now we need to resurrect that,” Kumar pointed out.
He also said there is a need to create growth hubs across the country as also making cities the centre of knowledge.
“Unless we make our cities generators of India, I am afraid, we will not get intellectual legitimacy,” he said.