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 here 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 rapid economic growth of close to 7 or 7.5 per cent 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.
About 31.7 per cent of the country's population lived in urban areas in 2011. It is projected that over 50 per cent 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 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 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 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, sea ports and other infrastructure to cater to the needs of the burgeoning population," Naidu said.
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