Union Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu says the government proposal to build Smart Cities is aimed at providing what the citizens want their city to be.
The future of India’s growth story is in cities which can be made smart with new initiatives based on plans to be evaluated through citizen consultations and economic and environmental impacts. There is no top down approach.
This concept will also encourage competition among states that would enhance their competence in planning and execution of projects with efficiency. There will be more focus on environmental impact and efficient use of resources.
The involvement of domestic and global technical agencies and consultants and multi-lateral lending agencies would give a new dimension to drawing up proposals based on citizens’ feedback that will strengthen the democratic process as well.
There is no doubt that to realise the India growth story, the urban centres need to be revamped and improved in terms of infrastructure, governance, improved quality of life, greater transparency in doing business and economic activity.
By recasting the urban landscape the citizens will see a more livable society with the Smart Cities becoming effective engines of economic growth as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The major aspects of Smart Cities, Naidu explained, included bottom-up planning based on citizen participation, complete autonomy to states and Union Territories in project proposal, appraisal and approval, selection of cities and towns under new urban missions based on objective criteria, convergence of different schemes to enable integrated planning and better utilisation of resources for visible impact on ground and unprecedented resource support to states and urban local bodies.