J&K LG Manoj Sinha’s address at the Srinagar Conclave on Urban Planning

J&K LG Shri Manoj Sinha addressed the Srinagar Conclave of the High-Level Committee on Urban Planning of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India. In his keynote address, he extended felicitations to the committee members and experts, emphasizing the significance of the two-day deliberations involving states and urban planners. These discussions, he noted, will contribute significantly to formulating the final report on urban planning reforms in the country. He urged town planners, urban designers, and experts to concentrate on building future-ready cities. With the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, climate change impacts, and unpredictable weather patterns, resilient urban planning is essential for developing cities that are prepared for future challenges. He reiterated the Union Territory administration’s commitment to urban transformation, focusing on creating sustainable, inclusive, resilient, and safe cities that meet people’s needs and effectively address economic, social, and climate challenges. Highlighting the role of cities as growth engines of the country, Sinha pointed out that urban areas are crucial in fulfilling citizens’ dreams and aspirations. The growing urbanization reflects increasing aspirations, and urban planning should facilitate sustainable infrastructure that allows residents to thrive. Sinha praised the urban reforms initiated under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, such as the Urban Rejuvenation and Smart Cities campaigns. These initiatives, he said, are enabling a more holistic development of cities, thereby enhancing the quality of life. Also offered valuable suggestions aimed at addressing urban challenges and ensuring quality living for all citizens. He urged the High-Level Committee to strike a balance between modern facilities and natural heritage, focusing on quality living spaces in future urban planning. He emphasized the need for sustainable urbanism, comprehensive development, urban resilience, and future readiness. He called on stakeholders and the community to take dedicated measures to unlock urban potential and bridge the gap between rural and urban facilities. He stressed the importance of enhancing economic activities and the quality of life in satellite cities and rural areas through improved physical and digital connectivity. He also highlighted the ecological potential of cities, suggesting that it will form the basis of their future economic potential. Public amenities and spaces should be accessible and inclusive, with an emphasis on developing commercial hubs to create employment and business opportunities. He also proposed incorporating citizens’ feedback and addressing unpredictable weather patterns in urban planning and development policies. He also advocated for strengthening the multi-modal integrated transportation and response systems of city management. Furthermore, he underlined the necessity of focusing on connectivity, technical infrastructure, green infrastructure, communication infrastructure, environmental protection, and public safety during the planning process.

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