City needs proper urban planning

The need of the hour, he said, was that planners should take conservation and urban renewal aspects in view of Amritsar’s historical, spiritual, geographical and cultural heritage.

“There are acute problems like overcrowding, shortage of housing and urban infrastructure leading to the setting up of slums in this city.”

He said the city was important not only because of the Golden Temple but also because of its geopolitical position which made it a major trading hub catering to the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. “Besides, it is situated on the t important land routes providing connection to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Middle East and Europe.

To cater to the requirements of the tourists, there was a need to provide adequate tourist infrastructure, including budget hotels, he added. Mr Meshram said that about 30 to 40 per cent of the population of India lived in the slums and there was a need to work out an urbanisation strategy for the future planning of cities.

He added that the master plan for the 1,500 cities already existed but could not be implemented due to political pressures. “Joint efforts should be there and the people must help the government to nail those who violate building bylaws.”

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