The challenge of rapid urbanisation is perhaps the one we are least equipped to meet. Our development priorities are dominated by the demands for rural infrastructure and poverty alleviation. The budget of the central ministry of urban development is Rs 10,000 crore in 2013-14, while the central government budget allocation for rural housing, rural roads and rural drinking water and sanitation is Rs 52,000 crore.

As for poverty alleviation, there is virtually nothing comparable to MGNREGA in urban areas. Looking ahead at 2050, these priorities will have to change, with vastly larger sums being made available for urban infrastructure and affordable housing and a start made on poverty alleviation schemes in urban areas. Read More