India needs to decrease the rising stress on the big cities by creating more centres of growth outside metros and decentralising the process of industrialisation, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said.
“The solution to problems (arising due to rapid urbanisation) lie outside big cities… There is a need to look for solutions beyond metros,” Gadkari said speaking at a meet on smart cities in New Delhi on Wednesday.
That is why the government has planned to create 100 smart cities in the country, which will become the new centres of growth away from the big cities, he said explaining the necessity for high-tech cities.
But given the resource limitations, “we need low cost housing and urban planning of international standard”, the Transport Minister underlined.
Addressing the gathering immediately prior to Gadkari, Jamshyd Godrej, the Managing Director and Chairman of Godrej & Boyce, had summed up the issues arising out of the unprecedented pace of urbanisation in the following words: “Another 200 million people will soon move to the cities in India… But which cities? Will there be jobs? And, what will be their quality of life?”
Taking the debate further, Gadkari said that the government has decided to raise new smart cities near waterways, so as to help those become centres of growth in true sense. “We need great cities, but we need employment too!”
Speaking on the issue of pollution, he said that the government is planning to promote alternative fuels, like biodiesel and ethanol electricity, to reduce emissions by vehicles.