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Urban planning should be decentralised and be done by states, says PM Modi

RERA has brought transparency to the real estate sector and protected homebuyers, Modi said. The PM also stressed the need for building audits to prevent collapse and fires, which, he said, remained a major concern in cities

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) regulations have brought transparency in the sector even, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on September 20 even as he called for decentralisation of urban planning.

Passed by Parliament in 2016, RERA, which came into effect from May next, is aimed at regulating the real estate sector by protecting homebuyers, who struggle against delays, and also bringing transparency to the business.

“We brought in RERA to secure the rights of the middle class. Earlier, buyers would put in money in a scheme which did not get completed, work for which a map or a pamphlet was shown looked different once it was ready, sizes became smaller, a room looked different. It is due to RERA that the buyer has received the right to get what has been decided,” Modi said in a virtual address to a mayors' conference in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar.

He urged mayors to work towards making the real estate sector transparent.  “As mayor of BJP, as head of cities, you have more responsibility to make real estate sector better and transparent. Our priority should be to ensure that the rules are followed," Modi said.

RERA calls for states to set up real estate regulatory authorities to monitor the lucrative sector plagued by delays.

‘States should do urban planning'

The Prime Minister stressed the need for building audits, saying the collapse of old buildings and structures catching fire in cities was a major concern. These can be avoided if rules were followed.

As many as 118 mayors and deputy mayors of BJP-ruled urban local bodies from 18 states and Union Territories are participating in the two-day event being held in Gandhinagar.

Modi also called for decentralisation of urban planning, saying it should be done at the state level.

"Urbanisation will happen and the populations in cities will go up. Mayors need to ensure that their cities have economic opportunities. The Union budget has focused on urban planning. It is important to ensure that planning is decentralised. Everything cannot be done from Delhi,” he said.

Tier 2 and 3 cities were emerging as the centres of economic activity. The focus should be on developing industry clusters in these areas, he said.

Talking about urban infrastructure, Modi said, "Till 2014, the metro network in the country was lesser than 250 km. Today, it has exceeded 775 km. Work is underway on 1,000 km of metro route. It is our effort that our towns should become a centre of a holistic lifestyle," he said.

"Today, we are developing 100 smart cities across the country and so far, we have completed projects worth Rs 75,000 crore.”

Urban housing was a major challenge for cities. Under the PM Awas Yojna (urban), the Centre had so far allotted 1.25 crore houses to the poor, the PM said. The budget for housing projects has been increased from Rs 20,000 crore in 2014 to Rs 2,00,000, he said.

The mayor’s conference had a major role to play in laying out the road map for urban development for the next 25 years.

"Elected representatives should not think just in terms of winning elections. You cannot develop your city with an election-centric approach. Many times, decisions which could prove beneficial for the cities are not taken just out of the fear that such decisions can result in election loss," Modi said.

Vandana Ramnani
Vandana Ramnani
first published: Sep 20, 2022 02:17 pm