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Few smart cities will not make big difference, says Naidu


Ranchi, September 9: Unless all cities are made smart it will not make a "big difference" to the country and for this the participation of the people and stake holders is important, said Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.

"Only one Ranchi Smart City or hundred smart cities in the country will not make a big difference unless all the cities of the country are made smart. But for this purpose the participation of all the people and stake holders is important," Naidu said after bhoomi puja was held for the Ranchi Smart City.

"Ranchi will be the first Greenfield Smart City of the country where IT, beauty, duty and security everything will be available and so Ranchi Smart City will not only be a lighthouse for Jharkhand but it will be a lighthouse for the entire country," the vice president said.

Stating that the situation in the country must change, Naidu said, electricity comes and goes erratically and this old concept must go. "All the places and houses must have 24x7 electricity."

He said, many developed countries have achieved it so why should India be behind? Naidu said that looking into the development of such countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought in such futuristic plans in the country.

The vice president said that local bureaucracy, local bodies and politicians must work together taking on board the common people to fulfill the ambitious projects.

Naidu asked the authorities to develop smart city in such a way that it should have both parks and parking facilities. Recycling of waste water should be done so that it can be used for gardening and factories, he said.

He said, in the smart city there should be traffic free zone, more and more solar energy should be used, energy-efficient street lights should be used there should be pedestrian path and more over there should be a separate cycle track. Waste management system, efficient education system, efficient traffic system and health amenities are parts of smart cities, he said.

Naidu said, there should be arrangement for advanced weather forecasting in the smart cities. The vice president said, people of Jharkhand are fortunate to have good weather condition, greenery, labourious people and 40 per cent of the country's mineral resources.

Naidu said, the initial amount of Rs 500 crore from the central government and additional Rs 500 crore by the local body make only Rs 1000 crore which cannot do much for a smart city. And that is why the Union government has planned to develop smart cities on the public-private partnership.

Under the scheme, private companies and foreign companies can help and participate in the development of such cities, he said. While reviewing Ranchi Smart City project with Chief Minister Raghubar Das and the state government authorities today, Naidu said, he suggested to the state government to appoint a CEO for the project and he was told that the CEO would be appointed within a week.

Naidu said that such an ambitious project must be executed with transparency, accountability and participation from the people. And if this mode is adopted, the people will always be ready to contribute in the form of taxes and the state government will be available generate its own resources.

Remembering his stint as Rural Development Minister in the A B Vajpayee government, Naidu said that it was on his advice that the then prime minister had implemented PMGYS because of which most of the villages are today connected by roads enabling teachers, doctors, collectors, industrialists and leaders to reach the villages. He also lauded Vajpayee for the Golden Quadrangular project which, he said, has revamped road transport in the country.

Chief Minister Raghubar Das and Urban Development Minister C P Singh said that the Smart City Project will be completed in a time span of two years with transparency. The chief minister said that the state government has paid Rs 743 crore to Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) for 564 acre land for the Smart City project.

The chief minister said that with this amount, the HEC will pay back its old dues and due salaries of its employees and labourers, which will benefit the people of Jharkhand.


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