New Delhi: Government on Friday asserted that states and urban local bodies will play a key role in the Smart City project to be rolled out in a phased manner on PPP model this year.
Addressing the final consultative workshop on Smart City with states and stakeholders, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu sought to dispel the perception that "Centre will
build the Smart City and transport it to states."
He said states and stakeholders will have to rise to the occasion for improving quality of urban life.
Naidu said the Prime Minister wanted the states to be taken on board for the Smart City project.
"He said we must work as Team India. So... That is why I have made a plain talk about what are the challenges, problems and what are the opportunities available," he said, adding many companies and countries were coming forward to participate in the project.
"It will be on PPP model and the Centre will consult the states before identifying in the cities in respective states. Broad parameters have been set and guidelines have been issued. We are taking states into confidence before the final shape. Whatever good suggestions they will make they will be taken into consideration," Naidu said.
He said a spirited effort to motivate all concerned including urban local bodies is required to take up the challenge of building Smart City and improve basic infrastructure in other cities which he said is "not impossible".
A commemorative postage stamp on Swachh Bharat campaign was launched by Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on the occasion. Rural Development minister Chaudary Birendra Singh was also present.
Naidu said, "The concept of Smart City will be rolled out in this year itself. Today we have final consultation with all states for finalising the contours of Smart City. We want the states also on the board.
"States will be giving their suggestions and they will be sharing their experiences with others. After that the matter will be taken to Cabinet and a final view will be taken."
Referring to four guiding principles of Smart Cities, Naidu said there should be a vision and mission, courage to take tough and quick decisions, to learn best practices and to attract investment.
Defining the idea of Smart City, Naidu said it should enable better urban living by addressing present problems like urban mobility, assured supply of quality utilities like water and electricity, good sanitation, solid waste management and affordable social infrastructure like health care and education and responsive governance.
He said, "There is a need to strengthen the local governance. Urban Local Bodies (ULB) needs to raise the resources and it is an important aspect. Even if you get external loan or funding from other agencies you must be in a position to repay."