Centre to help states develop smart cities

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Addressing a workshop on Smart Cities at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC), Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that the Central Government would help states to develop smart cities. “It is proposed to meet 10 per cent of smart city power requirement by setting up of solar energy projects. Therefore, setting up of solar power units would be made mandatory”, he said.

“Participation of people and their support was vital for effective implementation of this ambitious smart city programme. It is a difficult task to transform cities into smart cities, but not impossible”, he added.

Once detailed project reports are prepared and special purpose vehicles formed to implement various projects, the Centre would play a role in supporting various initiatives over the next five years. The whole model of development is based on the greater role for local bodies, urban and rural, as put forth in the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments, he explained.

Highlighting the major aspects of a smart city, he said, “Housing for poor, rainwater harvesting, improving urban infrastructure, providing improved citizen services are among a number of aspects that encompass the smart city initiative. The whole process of development of smart cities requires holistic planning.”

In his address, he also refefrred to the importance of developing public transport networks. He said that there was a need to come out with innovative transport projects to strengthen the already existing public transport systems.

He further emphasised on the need to gradually replace all lighting systems with LED lights.

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