The process of urbanization in India has accelerated at a rapid pace. Job opportunities, better standard of living, access to healthcare and other services have largely attracted the rural population to move towards cities and more than 50% population is projected to be living in cities by 2050. The future of high population density and inevitability of urbanization, it is crucial that urban planning take place in an efficient manner with no scope of social, economic and environmental deprivation for individuals living in cities. 

The Budget 2022, for the purpose of promoting proper planning and development of urban areas has stressed on the need to facilitate Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities for the future by promoting sustainable living. To achieve this, the government has launched various initiatives for addressing the challenges of poverty, housing and cleanliness such as the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana (DAY-NULM), PM Awas Yojana and the Swacch Bharat Mission, respectively. However, further emphasis has been put by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, on the need for adopting a more sustainable approach to urban planning. As a result, environment conscious and sustainable changes have been spoken of such as the coming in of electric vehicles (EV) in special mobility zones to push for a greener transportation mode and an increased focus will be put on the use of public transport in urban areas. Another aspect to urban planning is ‘social inclusion’. It is considered essential that in the process of planning of cities, women and poor are not excluded and children are provided with a holistic environment to grow, and this would be ensured by a committee of urban planners and economists who would provide recommendations for planning and governance. Furthermore, the master scheme AMRUT, ATAL and Awas Yojana will further provide support in improving conditions for the poor and disadvantaged and provide an improved sense of equality in the future urban areas. 

The urban planning envisioned in the Union Budget 2022 would provide a green boost to the developmental process which would help in creating a smoother transit of masses to Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities, help bridge the gap between them and provide equal and improved opportunities for working and living. 

This blog has been authored by Bhamini Rathore.

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