Modi launches Smart City projects

Making a strong pitch to consider urbanisation as an opportunity to mitigate poverty and not as a problem, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said cities have to be strengthened through comprehensive and inter-connected approach combined with increased public participation.
Addressing a gathering here after the launch of projects under government's flagship Smart City mission in 20 cities across the country , he said, “There was a time in our country when urbanisation was considered a big problem. But, I feel differently. We should not consider urbanisation as a problem, but consider it as an opportunity.“ “People in the economic field consider cities as a growth centre.... If anything has the potential to mitigate poverty it is our cities. That is why people from poor places migrate to cities, as they find opportunities there.
“It is now our responsibility to provide strength to cities so that it can mitigate the maxi mum poverty , in the shortest time, and adds new avenues for development. It is possible as it is not a difficult task,“ he said.
As the Prime Minister launched 14 smart city projects in Pune, and initiated 69 other works in other smart cities in the country , he made a plea for working in a comprehensive, inter-connected and vision-oriented manner and not in piecemeal.
“There cannot be a transformation as long as we take things in bits and pieces. We need to adopt a comprehensive, interconnected and vision-oriented approach,“ he said.
Modi added that every city has a distinct identity and the country's people “who are the smartest“ should decide on how to develop urban spaces.
Stressing that the spirit of participative governance is vital, he said people of the cities have to decide about the development of their urban spaces as these decisions cannot be taken by people sitting in Delhi.
He stressed on increased public participation in deciding the course of development of smart cities and called for intense competition among cities to develop them as modern centres of growth.
“If we consider it as a problem, our approach to address it would be the same, but if we consider it an an opportunity we would start thinking differently,“ he said.

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