There were times when growing urbanisation was thought to spell trouble. Urbanisation has to be looked upon as opportunity. Cities have the capacity to mitigate poverty and people from the rural areas migrate to the cities as it is here that they find employment opportunity. This capacity and potential of cities has to be exploited” said the Prime Minister expressing his trust.
Addressing a gathering on June 25th, Saturday last, at the launch of the ‘Smart City Projects’ in Pune, the Prime Minister said, “Should urbanization be looked upon as a problem, the projects designed for cities would correspond with this line of thought. If however, we look upon urbanization as opportunity, the projects chalked out would lean towards the future.”
Under the Smart City project, 20 cities have been chosen for development in the first phase that entails an investment of 48,000 crores from the central government and an equal contribution from the state government for this ambitious plan. The project will focus on development of urban amenities and traffic management apart from making available facilities of the international standards. Pune and Solapur count among the cities to be developed as ‘Smart Cities’ in the first phase of the project.
“Cities have tremendous potential and economists look upon them as ‘growth centres’. But then cities have yet another great potential and that is of mitigating poverty. So, the poorer the region, the more its citizen feels drawn to cities. After all it is in the cities that this citizen feels sure to find employment” the Prime Minister said. “It is for this reason that the development of smart cities assumes utmost importance. However, the decisions in this regard will be taken at the local level and not in New Delhi. Suggestions from the people have been called for and 25 lakh suggestions from among those received to date deserve consideration”, the Prime Minister added expressing satisfaction at the participation of the people in the project.
The Prime Minister also recommended that the development of cities and cleanliness become part of a mass movement and these, as a matter of fact, be points of healthy competition among cities.”