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Modi's mantra for building modern cities

October 17, 2013 16:46 IST

Image: Narendra Modi
Photographs: Reuters.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that instead of viewing urbanisation as a challenge it should be converted into an opportunity.

"We keep expressing concerns about villagers migrating to cities. But what if we had accepted the truth from Day one? It should not be viewed as a challenge. Why not consider it as a strength ? Once you see it like an opportunity, work can be done effectively and there will be great results," Modi said.

Modi's mantra for building modern cities

Photographs: Reuters.

"The old mindset cannot change anything as rapid urbanisation is a reality. What is needed is invigorating our approach with things like latest technology and modern initiatives like solid waste management, waste water treatment etc to change our cities," Modi said.

He was speaking at the inaugural session of National Summit on Inclusive Urban Development in which representatives from 26 states, 411 districts, Mayors, Deputy Mayors and officials from various cities are participating.

Modi's mantra for building modern cities

Image: Aerial view of Mumbai
Photographs: Adeel Halim/Reuters

Modi told the gathering to look ahead at two events, keeping them as focus, plan things for their own cities that can go a long way towards India’s urban regeneration.

People should look forward to 2022, when India will celebrate 75th year of Independence, Modi said asking them to think on how they dream their city should be in 2022 and plan projects accordingly.

"All over the world we are criticised for keeping our cities unclean. The other big thing that should be kept in mind is to work towards clean cities keeping in mind the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, a Yug Purush who gave lot of importance to cleanliness during his lifetime," Modi said.

Modi's mantra for building modern cities

Image: Vehicles move over a bridge built over the river Tapi at Surat, in Gujarat.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

Modi also recalled his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a few years ago where he gave him the idea of choosing 500 cities all over India where the focus would be on solid waste management and waste water treatment.

Modi said that he had urged the PM to look at next generation programme of JNNURM. However, the PM appreciated the idea but nothing happened.

"Gujarat did pilot testing as well but again, there was no response from the Centre, forcing the Gujarat government to start these initiatives in their cities so that it can be effective in the times to come," Modi said.

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