Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that well-planned cities will determine the fate of the country, asserting that India's position in the world would have been completely different if 75 planned cities had been developed since Independence.
Addressing a post-Budget webinar on 'Urban Planning, Development and Sanitation', he noted that only one or two planned cities have been developed in the country in 75 years of India's Independence
The prime minister said with India urbanising rapidly, it is important to build infrastructure that is futuristic.
"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. When planning is better, our cities will become climate resilient and water secure," the prime minister said.
He urged the participants of the webinar to focus on three main questions about how to strengthen the urban planning ecosystem in the states, how to properly use the expertise available in the private sector in urban planning and lastly how to develop a centre of excellence that will take urban planning to a new level.
The government has organised a series of post-budget webinars to seek ideas and suggestions for the effective implementation of the initiatives announced in the Union Budget 2023.
He informed that an incentive of Rs 15,000 crore 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.
Well-planned cities, he said, are going to be the need of the hour in the fast-paced environment of India in the 21st century.
Underlining that the development of new cities and the modernisation of services in the existing cities are the two main aspects of urban development, Modi highlighted the significance of urban development in every budget of the country.
He pointed out that poor planning of cities or lack of proper implementation after planning can create huge challenges in the development journey of India and stressed the need to work in a very focused way in areas of spatial planning, transport planning, and urban infrastructure.
Industries should maximise the potential of waste management, he said, adding that the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT 2.0) was launched for clean drinking water in cities after the success of the AMRUT scheme.
Modi noted that used water is being treated and sent for industrial use in some cities.
"Our new cities must be garbage-free, water secure, and climate-resilient," the prime minister said as he highlighted the need to increase investment in urban infrastructure and planning in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
Modi underlined that future cities should be defined on parameters such as architecture, zero discharge model, net positivity of energy, efficiency in land use, transit corridors and use of AI in public services.
He also stressed the need for playgrounds and bicycle paths for children as part of urban planning.
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