- PM Modi launched 14 smart city projects in Pune
- The PM added that every city has a distinct identity
- The PM also took a veiled dig at the previous Congress governments
Addressing a gathering in Pune, he said, "There was a time in our country when urbanisation was considered a big problem. But, I feel differently. We should not consider urbanisation as a problem, but consider it as an opportunity."
"People in the economic field consider cities as a growth centre. If anything has the potential to mitigate poverty it is our cities. That is why people from poor places migrate to cities, as they find opportunities there.
As the prime minister launched 14 smart city projects in Pune, and initiated 69 other works in other smart cities in the country, he made a plea for working in a comprehensive, inter-connected and vision-oriented manner and not in piece-meal.
PM Modi added that every city has a distinct identity and the country's people "who are the smartest" should decide on how to develop urban spaces.
Stressing that the spirit of participative governance is vital, he said people of the cities have to decide about the development of their urban spaces as these decisions cannot be taken by people sitting in Delhi.
PM Modi also took a veiled dig at the previous Congress governments, alleging that while they took the country on the reverse path, his government was finding new avenues to move forward.
PM Modi said smart cities should not be seen as a fancy concept since the mission is meant for ensuring availability of basic services to people though infrastructure including houses for urban poor in a comprehensive manner.
Residents in Pune however expressed their concerns about living in a city reeling under severe connectivity, road and transport issues. "Travel is very expensive here and is difficult without private vehicle," said one resident.
"Pune is spreading out into the suburbs, I have requested the Prime Minister to invest in bringing better connectivity to the city through the Smart City scheme," said Pune Mayor Prashant Jagtap to NDTV.
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