CITIES, URBANISATION, AND URBAN POLICY
India is fast urbanising. Nearly 34 per cent of our population lives in towns and cities and the number is growing. As in the rest of the world, India’s cities can become engines of growth.
The Smart Cities Mission of the BJP government, which replaced the successful JNNURM, was a colossal failure and a waste of money with no visible results.
- Congress promises to formulate a comprehensive policy on Urbanisation after wide consultation. We will address the issues concerning towns and cities including city governance, livelihoods, housing, habitat, pollution, climate change, urban transport and disaster management.
- Congress will support State Governments to build new towns and cities as well as satellite towns.
- Congress will introduce a new model of governance for towns and cities through a directly elected mayor with a fixed term of 5 years, an elected Council and a separate administrative structure for each urban body. The administration will be accountable to the Mayor and the Council and there will be a provision to recruit technical experts and build capacity as well as multi-disciplinary teams to do urban planning and implement municipal works.
- We will enforce the 74th Amendment to the Constitution and ensure the devolution of powers, functions and funds to the Municipalities and Corporations, making them financially independent.
- Congress promises the Right to Housing for the urban poor and protection from arbitrary eviction. We will build night shelters for the homeless so that no one will sleep in the open.
- Congress will launch a Slum Upgradation and Transformation Scheme to ensure basic services such as drinking water, electricity and sanitation to slum dwellers. Slums will be transformed by replacing huts and kuchha dwellings with proper houses, roads and other public facilities.
- Public spaces, public transport, public premises and other public facilities in towns and cities will be made safe for women, children, persons with disabilities, migrants, and the marginalised sections of society. More women will be appointed to government and municipal jobs in towns and cities.
- Congress promises to formulate and implement a policy on urban transport with emphasis on metro rail, suburban rail, electric vehicles, public bus transport, hired vehicles and shared vehicles. We will encourage non-motorised transport, namely, walking and cycling.