Hardeep Singh Puri
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Addressing a High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, Housing Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that India will have to build a new Chicago every year to meet its massive urban demand. It has been projected that by 2030, 40% of the country’s population will reside in urban areas.

Hardeep Singh Puri, who served as the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013, stressed that nearly 600 million Indians will reside in urban areas by 2030 which is also the target year for achieving UN’s ambitious development agenda.

As Chicago is the third most populous city in the US and rapid infrastructure developments are taking place in the city, so keeping this in mind, he said, “To lay further emphasis on India’s urban prospects – from now till 2030, India has to build 700 to 900 million square metres of urban space every year. In other words, India will have to build a new Chicago every year from now till 2030 to meet its urban demand,”

As per the latest stats, today around 30 percent of India’s population, on a base of 1.2 billion are living in urban areas, as compared to 17 percent of the population at the time of independence.

Puri further said that in order to achieve the UN development goals, Union government has been implementing various flagship programmes and policies like PMAY and smart city development. Highlighting on their most ambitious scheme, he said that Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) or Affordable Housing for All is the world’s largest housing programme which has been initiated by Modi Government for the poor. Under this scheme, the government aims to build 11 million affordable homes for urban Indians by the year 2022.

“We have already sanctioned over 5 million and are confident of meeting the targets by the middle of 2019. Giving a fillip to gender empowerment, the title of each home under the Mission is given to the lady of the house, or co-jointly,” he added.