Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Sunday urged the Centre to allocate Rs 5,00,000 crore for developing 'Smart Villages' across the country instead of focusing on 'Smart Cities'.
Gogoi, in an official release, said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre should give special emphasis on the rural areas by going in for 'Smart Villages' in a big way than focusing on 'Smart Cities'.
"I am more in favour of developing Smart Villages, where villagers can avail the urban amenities without moving to the cities. The country can make faster progress and prosper if Smart Villages come up in a big way. It's the most effective way to bridge the rural-urban divide," Gogoi said.
Former President APJ Abdul Kalam's concept of 'Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas' (PURA) should be taken up on a 'mission mode', he said.
The Chief Minister said, "the Central Government should earmark Rs 5,00,000 crore for implementing the Smart Villages concept across the country as envisioned by former President Dr Kalam."
Gogoi also urged the Centre to allocate Rs 25,000 crore to Assam for developing 'Smart Villages' and said the state government would also come up with a comprehensive scheme with a matching share of 50 per cent.
"Recasting rural landscape of the country is the need of the hour as India lives in rural areas," he added.