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Network of Local Government & Authorities for Sustainable Urban Management & Human Settlement

 

Orissa INDIA

 

 

 

Interview with Shri. Badri Narayan Patra, Minister State for Housing & Urban Development, Government of Orissa,

The emerging cities of the State require huge infrastructure to keep pace with urbanization. Yet, this gap remains unfilled for want of human resources, finance and modern urban planning. City Managers’ Association Orissa spoke to the Minister State for Housing & Urban Development Department, Government of Orissa, Shri. Badri Narayan Patra, an Economist by education with Agriculture as profession worked as Lecturer in Economics, then left the job and entered politics in 1989, for views on this issue.

How do you see Urban Development in Orissa?

“Urbanization is inevitable” we can’t stop it. We are slowly but steadily moving towards urbanization. The populations of Orissa towns are growing with visible pressure on my department. All we need is to ease the harmful effects of urbanization by encouraging building of new planned cities with better infrastructure by creating more green and open spaces in cities, improving our delivery systems. We must try to manage urban issues rather than interfere with it.

What are your Governments agenda for urban sector in Orissa?

In a five years time we would like to make our cities clean & green with every family having a shelter to live, a place to work and a business center to sell his/her products. We are seriously looking at improving the municipal service delivery to reach every citizens of the city. Simultaneously we are also giving stress to strengthen the municipal administration by introducing transparency, e-Governance, simplification of taxation system, solid waste management, city transport etc.

What are the key challenges facing your department?

Most of our towns have developed in an unstructured manner and informal settlements have proliferated as increasing number of people migrate to cities in search of jobs. In this urban scenario, the much-needed upgrading of essential infrastructure inevitably involves resettling slum population and rehabilitating them for their livelihood. We need to prepare master plans of our towns so that the future Urban Development in Orissa will not face the challenges that are being faced by us today. Already the city master plan preparation is under way in Developing Authorities and Improvement Trust areas. Similarly we have to give thrust on the water supply, sewerage, solid waste management, transport, health. We are also facing challenges of Human Resources in the field of town planning & the progress needs improvement to manage our towns. We have towns without urban planners, engineers, financial managers. It’s a big challenge that we have to overcome.

Do you see Public Private Partnership have any role in Orissa Urban Development?

Public Private Partnership is encouraged in Housing & Urban Development. We understand their importance in building infrastructure, meeting the housing stock and partnering in service delivery. We have been encouraging private sector players in urban sector for quite sometimes now. My officials are constantly discussing with the private sector for investing in Orissa Urban Development. We are looking for investments in housing, solid waste management, transport, operation & maintenance and service delivery. In other words, the entire gamut of urban development can be taken up under PPP mode.

How about the people living in poor environment?

Our Chief Minister is Pro Poor and all our efforts are to upgrade the living condition of people living in poor and unhygienic condition. We have taken step to provide basic services of drinking water, electricity, road connectivity into Slums. We are developing policy intervention to undertake programmes that will eradicate poverty and create better opportunity for livelihoods. A slum Rehabilitation Policy is underway.

What is your vision for Urban Development in Orissa?

Our vision of Urban Orissa is to be poverty-free where a vast majority of population eventually live in a planned natural city. However, we must continue to work hard for achieving Sustainable Urban Development. We have to ensure that our cities contribute substantially towards making our state an economically vibrant state in coming years.

 

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City Managers Association Orissa,
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Orissa, India
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City Managers’ Association Orissa