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Well-planned cities will be key to India's growth: Modi

Deccan Chronicle.| Shashi Bhushan

Published on: March 1, 2023 | Updated on: March 2, 2023

PM underlined that transport planning is important pillar of development of cities and that the mobility of cities should be uninterrupted

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a post-Budget webinar on Urban Planning, Development and Sanitation', in New Delhi, Wednesday, March 1, 2023. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a post-Budget webinar on Urban Planning, Development and Sanitation', in New Delhi, Wednesday, March 1, 2023. (PTI Photo)

NEW DELHI: Asserting that India’s position in the world would have been completely different if 75 planned cities had been developed since Independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that well-planned cities will determine the fate of the country.

Addressing a webinar on the subject of "Urban Development with a Focus on Planning", the sixth in a series of 12 post-Budget webinars organised by the government, the Prime Minister lamented that only one or two planned cities have been developed in the country in the 75 years since India's Independence. He noted that India’s position in the world would have been completely different if 75 planned cities had been developed in the 75 years of its independence.

The Prime Minister reiterated that well-planned cities are going to be the need of the hour in the fast-paced environment of India in the 21st century.

Underscoring that the development of new cities and the modernisation of services in the existing cities are the two main aspects of urban development, the Prime Minister highlighted the significance of urban development in every Budget of the country.

He informed the participants that an incentive of Rs.15,000 crores has been declared in this year’s budget for the standards of urban development and expressed confidence that it will provide impetus to planned urbanisation.

The Prime Minister mentioned that all state governments and urban local bodies can make their contributions towards a developed nation only when they develop planned urban areas.

"Urban planning will determine the fate of our cities in Amrit Kaal and it is only well-planned cities that will determine the fate of India. Our cities will also become climate-resilient and water secure only with better planning," the Prime Minister said.

Mr Modi urged the experts to come up with innovative ideas and highlighted the role that they can play in areas such as GIS-based master planning, the development of different types of planning tools, efficient human resources and capacity building.

The Prime Minister underlined that transport planning is an important pillar of the development of cities and that the mobility of our cities should be uninterrupted.

Talking about the metro connectivity in the country before 2014, he pointed out that the present government has worked on metro rail in many cities and overtaken several countries in terms of metro network connectivity.

He emphasised the need to strengthen the metro network and provide first-and-last-mile connectivity. Mr Modi also noted that the widening of roads in cities, green mobility, elevated roads, and junction improvement have to be included as part of transport planning.

On the issue of waste management, the Prime Minister pointed out that work is underway to free the cities from heaps of garbage through waste processing. He noted that it will open a room full of opportunities for recycling for many industries.

Addressing the webinar, Mr Modi also urged everyone to support the startups that are doing a great job in the field of waste recycling. The PM stressed that industries should maximise the potential of waste management and informed the audience that AMRUT 2.0 was launched for clean drinking water in cities after the success of the AMRUT scheme.

The Prime Minister also stressed on the importance of planning beyond the traditional model of water and sewage management and said that in some cities, treated water is being sent for industrial use.

"Our new cities must be garbage-free, water secure and climate resilient," the Prime Minister remarked as he highlighted the need to increase investment in urban infrastructure and planning in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

The Prime Minister said that our future cities should be defined on parameters such as architecture, a zero discharge model, net positivity of energy, efficiency in land use, transit corridors and use of AI in public services.

He also pointed out the need for including playgrounds and cycle tracks for children as part of urban planning. "The plans and policies that the government is making should not only make life easier for the people of the cities but also help in their own development," the Prime Minister said.

He further informed the webinar participants about the government’s commitment to spend about Rs 80,000 crores for the PM-Awas Yojana in this year's Budget and said that industries like cement, steel, paint and furniture get a boost whenever a house is built.

Throwing light on the increasing role of futuristic technology in the field of urban development, the Prime Minister urged the startups as well as the industry to think in this direction and act quickly.

"We have to take advantage of the possibilities that exist and also give rise to new possibilities. From sustainable house technology to sustainable cities, we have to find new solutions," Mr Modi added.

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