Aiming smart cities, PM launches mega schemes

RSTV Bureau

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched three mega flagship projects – AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation), Smart Cities Mission, and Housing for All (Urban), aimed at transforming country’s infrastructure and improving the standard and quality of life in the cities and towns. The three mega schemes are worth Rs 4 lakh crore.

The Prime Minister made the announcement of schemes in the national capital Delhi. Flagging the launch of schemes at Vigyan Bhawan, Prime Minister Modi said that for the first time in the country the people and the urban leadership would play the pivotal role in deciding the future course of their cities.

The PM also said that these urban development schemes were not prepared by the Government alone, but involved perhaps the biggest consultation exercise ever taken by the Union Government, involving all stakeholders and examining global best practices.

In his address, the Prime Minister lent a vision of a smart city as the one which was a step or two ahead of people’s aspirations. Technology, transportation, energy efficiency, walk-to-work and cycling were some of the elements mentioned by him. Besides, he emphatically reiterated that all schemes for urban development should move forward based on people’s participation.

Mentioning the challenge of rising population, he said all possible avenues should be explored to find the resources for urban development. Citing the existing housing shortage of 2 crore units, the Prime Minister said that India was completing 75 years of independence in 2022, and by then, it was our responsibility to provide a house for everyone.

Admitting a lack of holistic vision about urban planning, the PM opined that through Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme, the aim of the Government is to give cities themselves the chance to plan their future growth.

(With inputs from the PTI)