Covid-19 pandemic proved catastrophic for cities: WEF

by Nidhi Bhati

The unfolding Covid-19 pandemic has been catastrophic for cities, the World Economic Forum (WEF) stated in a report titled, ‘Indian Cities in the Post-Pandemic World’. As per WEF estimates, about 70 percent of India’s GDP comes from its cities and around 25-30 people migrate to the cities from rural areas every minute. The impact of the pandemic has been profoundly uneven on different population groups. Vulnerable populations including low-income migrant workers have suffered the dual blows of lost income and weak social-protection coverage, while the pandemic has also laid bare gender-based imbalances in public and private life in India’s urban areas. With a view to help cities manage and direct emergency operations during a crisis, the WEF has recommended a rethink of outdated planning norms and regulations, decentralisation and empowerment of local governments and investment in transport and infrastructure.