Post-budget 2018 Reaction Mr. Dikshu Kukreja, Principal Architect and Urban Planner, CP Kukreja (CPKA)

The announcement of establishing 2 new full fledged schools of planning and architecture and 18 new schools of Architecture and Planning will be set up in the IITs and NITs is an excellent announcement. In a nation of our size which is in the throes of development, there is a need for design professionals across the country. These new institutions shall meet the need which is otherwise being primarily addressed by private universities which are not affordable for all. It is now for Council of Architecture which is the regulatory body to ensure that these new institutions become centres of excellence with a world class curriculum and faculty.

The allocation of 50 lakh crores towards infrastructure is welcome and is a necessity for India to remain firmly on a development path. Good infrastructure is the foremost requirement if we expect any kind of foreign investments and for the success of Indian business and industry. The allocation to Smart Cities is appreciable but the program itself needs traction for it is in the dangers of being buried in the bureaucracy of Centre and States. The program needs a strong enforcement mechanism if it has to succeed.

Railways has remained the backbone of transportation for the Aam Aadmi and the railway stations and adjoining properties of railways offers tremendous potential for development. However rushing in with 600 stations together is impractical and might lead to irreparable mistakes. They should be a modest target in the first phase of 50-60 stations and thereafter the learnings can be applied across the country.

Unfortunately the real estate sector continues to be ignored in not being accorded industry status. Impetus for housing has been ignored which is a huge opportunity that has been missed.

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