Union Minister of Urban Development (MoUD) & Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) M. Venkaiah Naidu has said the topmost priority of his ministry will be to set up 100 new smart and safe cities in the country.
Addressing the media on May 29 after assuming the charge of the two ministries in New Delhi, Mr Naidu said a new mission will be launched soon in place of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
Another priority on the agenda is housing for all by 2020, for which Public Private Partnership (PPP) as well as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) will be encouraged, he said. The minister elaborated that the corporates, financial institutions, banks etc., must give easy loans to their employees (existing and retired) to fulfill their housing needs. This must be done as part of their CSR, he added.
He said that by 2050, half of the Indian population will be living in urban areas for which there is an urgent need for urban upliftment and quality public transport.
“The ministry will also have to work fast in the areas of twin cities and creating infrastructure for satellite towns. Within cities, it is important to provide drainage, better sanitation, waste management, water recycling and wi-fi facilities for public and commercial areas,” he observed.
He maintained that modern and scientific methods of town planning based on GIC system will be used for urban development. “Metro services will be extended in more and more cities and metro work will be speeded up wherever already started.”
Mr Naidu also held a detailed meeting with the senior officers of the MoUD and HUPA.