By 2051, half the population of the country would reside in urban settlements and the number of million plus cities would be 75,' said Dr M. Ramachandran, Secretary, Urban Development while signing the Joint statement of the both parties.

Mr. Bischoff, the Director, represented the GTZ, Germany.

The Secretary further added,' I am delighted to note that we have reached a significant milestone in Indo-German technical cooperation in the field of Urban Development. The Indian Economy, as is well known has enjoyed a high growth rate during the last few years and it is widely believed that this trend is likely to continue for some time to come. Urban India is likely to be the engine of this growth. The contribution of urban India to the GDP is likely to be around 75-80 per cent. It is thus essential for cities to be able to support this kind of growth. The effort required to achieve this cannot be overestimated'.

A wide gamut of significant areas will be covered under the bilateral ties. These include Sustainable Urban Management, Strengthening of Municipal Institutions, Green Buildings and Energy efficient measures, Capacity Building & Training, Urban Sanitation Issues, Financial Sustainability, Private Sector Participation & Good Governance, City to City Cooperation, Exposure to best western practices in Germany & Europe through training & capacity building programmes and Technical Support for implementation of infrastructure development of satellite towns/counter magnets of million plus cities. (EOM)