Speaking at an international seminar on ‘Sustainable and inclusive urban development’ in New Delhi, the minister said, “Smart City aims at making peoples’ life more comfortable. The Central government has earmarked Rs. 50,000 crores to develop 100 Smart Cities in the country. Each Smart City will get annual central assistance of Rs. 100 crores for five years.”
The seminar was organised by the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog in collaboration with the Institute for Human Development (IHD) and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of the University of Florida.
Defining the role of the government and the masses in implementation of 100 Smart Cities project, Naidu said, “It is the need of the hour to recast the urban landscape of the country and make lives of urban people comfortable. The government will lay special emphasis on citizens’ participation while developing these cities.”
He underlined that sustainable and inclusive urban development is the main focus of the government and there is a need to go for reforms in a big way. “In a Smart City, good urban life requires housing, office space and good transportation. But the biggest challenge in the country is creating space for cities and availability of land.”
The minister further said that rapid urbanisation poses grave challenges for sustainability of the human race. “To ensure that urban development is sustainable, the government is going to promote rainwater harvesting, replace green buildings with conventional buildings, conventional power with solar power, conventional lights with LED lights for conserving energy and create community toilets to ensure access to toilets for all.”
On the occasion, Naidu also launched the online e-learning portal for Clean India, which would impart training and education to field functionaries and workers involved in helping realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream to ensure a clean India.