Odisha To Implement ‘The Odisha Rural-Urban Transition Policy’ Soon
Bhubaneswar: July 10: Odisha government is planning to bridge the rural-urban divide by providing residents of the rapidly expanding rural areas adjoining the cities with access to basic urban infrastructure, amenities, and services. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved ‘The Odisha Rural-Urban Transition Policy’, a forward-thinking initiative under 5T governance.
The current system of notifying a rural area as an urban area causes abrupt changes in the political and administrative setup, affecting citizens’ socioeconomic conditions because there is no window period for them to adjust to the sudden change. It also lacks a participatory and inclusive approach, which frequently leads to resistance and breeds litigation.
Nearly 40% of the state’s urbanisation can be attributed to the growth of census towns or peri-urban areas. These peri-urban and rurban areas have struggled with a lack of access to social infrastructure, public amenities, and services even after being designated as urban areas.
The Rural-Urban Transition Policy aims to provide urban civic amenities and services to the residents of the identified rural areas much before the areas are formally notified as urban areas, which represents a significant change from the previous system. The policy permits the creation of a special budget for the delivery of services and the implementation of infrastructure projects while actively involving elected officials, officials, and all other stakeholders in the planning, carrying out, and overseeing of the transition process.
After a thorough identification process, rural areas will be designated as urban areas under the policy, which will take effect on the day that the current elected representatives’ terms expire.
The informed rural area will undergo infrastructure and service upgrades during the interim period in order to provide all urban services on par with the surrounding urban areas.
Ward delimitation and other administrative measures will also be implemented during the transition period to ensure that the area begins operating as a fully-fledged urban area with all necessary urban infrastructure and services as of the effective date.
This policy calls for the creation of steering and implementation committees comprised of senior state officials, including the chief secretary, and specialists drawn from a range of fields, including urban planning, finance, engineering, management, and information technology, among others. This will guarantee the synchronisation of government initiatives and interdepartmental coordination for a seamless transformation of peri-urban and rurban areas into urban cores.
The “Hub and Spoke” model is one that the proposed policy would like to implement, with the State Urban Development Agency acting as the Hub at the state level and the District Urban Development Agencies, Development Authorities acting as the Hub and Spokes at the city level, respectively.
According to the H&UD Department, the policy will effectively balance the needs of both growth and sustainability while transforming urban landscapes like never before.