Smart Cities Projects is a people’s movement:PM Modi

PUNE(PTI): Marking the first anniversary of the announcement of the government’s ambitious programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the ‘Smart City Mission’ projects in Pune. These cities have proposed a total investment of Rs 48,000 crore in area development and pan-city solutions.

PM Modi at the launch of Smart City Mission in Pune (pic:PIB India)

PM Narendra Modi at the launch of Smart City Mission in Pune. Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis are also seen. (pic:PIB India)

The programme is being attended by M Venkaiah Naidu. Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

“The smart cities concept is a big people’s movement. I am seeing that the implementation has been successful. There is an enthusiasm to make their city come first through the competition. This government is holding competitions to move forward and looking for ways to do so,” said Modi at the launch.

On this occasion, the Prime Minister also inaugurated “Make Your City Smart” contest aimed at involving citizens in designing smart cities, with a reward ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs one lakh for winners.

Modi added, “Cities have the ability to digest poor people and that is why people from villages migrate to cities in large numbers. There was a time when urbanisation was considered as a problem but now, I think urbanisation must be considered as an opportunity. Cities have the power which are seen as the growth centres. Where there is poverty, people move to cities in the hope of jobs. It is our responsibility to enable cities to become centres of growth and development for the poor.”

Chief ministers of selected states including Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan), Naveen Patnaik (Odisha) and N. Chandrababu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh) also addressed through video-conference.

Under this mission, projects launched in Pune include slum rehabilitation, street and pedestrian walkway, modern buses with alternative fuels, traffic demand modelling project and city common mobility card. Pune has stood second in the selected cities.

“There is a new urban renaissance that is taking place. Cities are trying to be smart. Cities are smart in making people’s lives comfortable and cities liveable so they can act as light houses for the other cities. There is tremendous interest in people and they are willing to participate, ” M Venkaiah Naidu, urban development minister, said in his address.

On June 25 last year, the Union government had launched the smart city mission and released its mission statement and guidelines. It also shortlisted 98 potential smart cities in August last year and through a contest, 20 winners, including Pune and Solapur, were selected.