Letters to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs

Letters to MoHUA and members of the NUPF committee on facilitating a wider consultation in the formulation of the National Urban Policy

27/02/2019


To,

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs,

Nirman Bhawan, Maulana Azad Road,

New Delhi 110011

27th February 2019

Dear Sir,

Subject: Facilitating a wider consultation in the formulation of the National Urban Policy

  1. We are delighted that the government has taken the initiative to formulate a National Urban Policy Framework. This was long overdue following the two key steps that have impacted urban growth: economic liberalisation and decentralisation. Considering the vastness and complexity of India’s urban challenge, the framing of the policy will certainly help guide our cities and towns.
  • Moreover, we also appreciate the document being in the public domain for discussion and comments. It will provide the opportunity to urban professionals, civic groups and concerned citizens to contribute ideas. As you may be aware, INHAF (Habitat) Forum, set up in 1999, serves as a platform for NGOs, individuals, groups and agencies on issues shaping urban and rural development.  By drawing from our own collective experience, we would like to contribute by way of suggestions.
  • However, the current feedback format on the Ministry website allows little by way of policy recommendations. The questions are broad (what is your overall view of the policy?), primarily focused on the framework used to prepare the policy document (are the sutras mentioned able to demonstrate the framework properly? or what are your inputs on the framework for evaluating government readiness on financing model?) and on document feedback (How do you rate the overall flow, relevance and structure of the document?). In addition to this and the word limit, we find that large number of people perhaps except professionals or consultants will find it challenging to articulate their views on an essential document.
  • Also, on a subject as complex as this, the deadline of 10th March, 2019, is quite inadequate as information on the policy is just trickling in. Professional associations, student bodies, academic institutions, private professionals, etc, the potential commentators, are not necessarily equipped and ready for an immediate feedback. Better feedback also requires internal and cross agency dialogue and discussion. Considering this, we request the period for feedback be extended by a month till April 2019.
  • It is likely that this new time schedule does not work within the code of conduct given the approaching election. In this case, we would request you to consider a longer extension that will enable us to frame our views more comprehensively.
  • Considering the importance of feedback and interest various stakeholder groups has on this important document , we assume many others must have requested you for extension of the time limit and to re-consider the feedback format.

We look forward to your response.

With kind regards,

Yours Sincerely,

Kirtee Shah

President

Habitat Forum (INHAF)

Copy To:

Dr. Sameer Sharma, Additional Secy (Urban Affairs), MoHUA

Shri Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance

Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Additional Secy. (Housing), MoHUA

Shri Shiv Das Meena, Joint Secy. (AMRUT), MoHUA

Shri. Amrit Abhijat, Joint Secretary (PMAY), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Member.

Prof. Jagan Shah, Director, National Institute of Urban
Affairs (NIUA), Member.

Dr. Bimal Patel, President, CEPT University, Member.

Shri. Hitesh Vaidya, India Country Manager, UN-Habitat,
Member.

Ms. Sunita Sanghi, Urban Advisor, NITI Ayog, Member.


Kirtee Shah is the President of Habitat Forum (INHAF) , Hon. Director of Ahmedabad Study Action Group (ASAG) and Chairman Of KSA Design Planning Services based in Ahmedabad. Kirtee was a member of the Prime Minister appointed National Commission on Urbanization (NCU) in the mid 80’s.