Transport, Urban Development, Town & country Planning Minister Mahender Singh Thakur stresses the need for modernizing the governance with innovations in governance through reforms that plug the gap between demand and supply of services. He was inaugurating a workshop on innovations in Urban Governance organized by Centre for Innovations in Public systems (CIPS) in collaboration with the Government of Himachal Pradesh, here, today.

The Minister said that rapid urbanization has resulted into more pressure on civil and other service delivery in most of developing countries as migration from rural to urban areas had increased. He said that urban civic stress has to be managed by innovations as this challenge had no ready made solutions. Most cities were ill equipped to cope with this change and the problems and pressures because of inadequate governance capacity, lack of planning and poor allocations of resources to meet competing demands of citizens. He said that the urban infrastructure scenario in Himachal Pradesh was beset with problems like inadequate water supply, sewerage and solid waste management due to paucity of funds with the urban local bodies. He said that despite topographical, financial and resource linked challenges, State Government had made vigorous efforts to bring in some innovations in its urban governance.

He said the Himachal is the first State in the Country to comply with all nine conditions laid down by the 13th Finance commission for securing the performance grant. The State had shown its commitment towards ensuring better public health and sanitation for citizens by taking urban local bodies up to Nagar panchayat level. He said that a training programme for elected representatives had been pioneered so that they can work in tandem with official representatives towards common goals. The State was on the way to set up Regional Urban Management Institute that will cater to training, research and education needs of urban areas HP, J&K and Uttrakhand.

Earlier, Dr. S.K.Rao, DG, Administrative Staff college of India and Head, steering committee, CIPS said that city development plans, ecology preservation, sanitation, town and country planning and solid waste management were certain vital sectors which needed special emphasis while making innovations in urban governance.