Union Minister for
Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu today emphasized on improving civic
infrastructure in Indian cities as part of the ‘new urban renaissance’
Speaking at the India Today Conclave 2017 in Mumbai, Mr. Naidu, known
for coining new acronyms, said CITY stands for ‘Civic Infrastructure To
You’. He said the Smart Cities Mission launched by the Government is an
ambitious game changer that seeks to transform the cities and towns into
sustainable centres of economic activity, providing an improved quality
of life to the citizens in all respects. The minister stressed upon
improving the ‘liveability Index’ of the Indian cities.
The Urban Development Minister further said that the Smart Cities
Mission also mandates inclusive development stipulating affordable
housing, ensuring availability of quality water, power, social
infrastructure, promotion of walking and cycling, sanitation, push to
employment generation etc. benefits of which accrue to the poor and the
common man. He asserted that ‘Housing for All’ would become a reality by
Mr. Naidu said competition among cities is bringing very encouraging
results. “We hit upon the idea of infusing a certain degree of
competition among the cities because contest brings the best out of us.
That is how the novel idea of Smart Cities Competition has taken birth
and it made a huge difference to the way our cities looked at
themselves” he added.
Venkaiah Naidu asserted that the Smart City concept is not utopian and
said it is also not about building glossy urban islands amidst degrading
city environment. He said a smart city is one which is smart in
thinking, smart in vision and smart in execution, and is a liveable
city. He said 100 smart cities are not sufficient but they will act as
light houses to inspire other cities to become smart.
Mr. Naidu said Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted initiatives and
schemes to be public driven and involving greater public participation
rather than being planned in New Delhi or state capitals. He cited
Swachch Bharat as a fine example of how a government’s drive has become
a people's drive.
Union Minister for Communication & IT Ravi Shankar Prasad elaborated on
Government’s Digital India initiatives and asserted that India, which
missed out on the industrial revolution and the post war technological
development did not want to miss the digital revolution.
Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar spoke about the empowerment of
people through education and said the New Education Policy, to be
announced soon would stress upon making education student friendly. He
said it would be guided by the motto‘sabko shiksha, achchi shiksha’
India Today Conclave is an annual platform to brainstorm over ground
breaking ideas, share innovative experiences and fuel thought provoking
debates, attracting participation of political leaders, policy makers,
captains of the industry, academics and international opinion makers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver a special address via
video-link on Saturday evening on “Setting India’s New Agenda”.