India minister tells Expo 2020: “We need to spend $700bn on urban infrastructure”

Modernisation of urban transport central to country’s plans to expand economy, says minister

Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary and Mission Director (Smart Cities Mission), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, has told the media at Expo 2020 Dubai that India needs around $700 billion of investment from 2021 to 2031 to boost its urban infrastructure.

Speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of the ‘Urban and Rural Development Week’ at the India Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai, he added, “India is a $3 trillion economy and aggressively moving towards becoming a $10 trillion economy by 2030 and one of main constituents of this growth will be massive urbanisation happening in the country. Rapidly urbanizing India presents exciting investment opportunities for private sector in Indian cities to address several challenges which include improving quality of urban services such as water, sanitation, urban transport and planned development of land resources.”

The ministry is showcasing its efforts being made in comprehensive urban development in India and exhibiting the multi-sectoral opportunities for the World during the ‘Urban and Rural Development Week’ in Dubai. The broad objective is to demonstrate India’s innovative case studies and attract investments to India, fostering market access for other countries, say Indian officials.

“The Government of India since 2014, has already invested USD 160 Billion on creating and upgrading urban infrastructure and ensuring ease of living for the citizens. India’s investment in the urban sector has jumped by over 600% during 2014-2021 as compared to 2004-2014. Urban Development is the key to India’s growth because we need productive, liveable cities that ensure ease of doing business,” Kumar said.

“The Government of India has created a National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) for infrastructure projects worth USD 1.5 trillion to be completed between 2020-25. Major focus of NIP is across energy (24%), roads (18%), urban (17%) and railways (12%). Each of these urban mission presents opportunities for global companies to invest and grow.”

India is spending $28 billion on its Smart Cities Mission programme and Kumar said the initial creation of 100 ‘smarter Indian cities’ will lead to addressing the challenges of increasing urbanisation across 4,000 cities in the country.

Fellow minister Shri Jaideep, OSD (Urban Transport), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs added that urban transport and mass transit systems led by metro rail networks are a critical component of a comprehensive approach towards the urbanisation of India’s cities: “In the last seven years we have operationalised 485 km of Metro network. In National Infrastructure Projects, we have projects worth $60 billion out of which $32 billion is sanctioned and remaining is in planning stage to be implemented before 2024. We are also working on green urban mobility, sustainable and energy efficient transport system.”

Speaking on the opportunities in the real estate sector in India, Dinesh Kapila, Economic Advisor (Housing), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs also commented: “The size of the housing sector is currently USD 200 billion in India, and it contributes around 7% to the GDP. The contribution of the real estate sector to the Indian economy is likely to be around USD 1 trillion by 2030. As per an industry study, with massive urbanisation, every year we need to construct 700-900 million sq mt. worth of houses, malls and offices. There are huge opportunities in India in the next ten years and currently the atmosphere is very conducive to the growth of the real estate sector and also the economy.”


Most Popular

To Top