New Delhi: Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said that a 'Smart City' is what the citizens want their places to be and the city-level plans should be evolved based on extensive consultations with them.
Smart City Plans will be evaluated in the second stage of City Challenge competition based on such consultations and their economic and environmental impacts, Naidu said.
He was addressing a Smart City regional workshop held here for ten northern states and Gujarat to discuss various aspects of preparation of the Plans and related issues.
Mayors and civic chairpersons and municipal commissioners from cities included in Smart City Mission and Principal Secretaries of Urban Development from these states, besides, representatives of domestic and global technical agencies and consultants and multi-lateral lending agencies attended the workshop.
Responding to the comments of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav reported in a section of the media today, Naidu said that the contours of smart city plans will be defined by the citizens and the plans will reflect their aspirations.
He said, "One can look smart even in a good kurta and pyjama as in the case of Akhilesh Yadav himself. But the question is how many cities in UP and the country are like such good kurta and pyjama? When UP was assigned 13 smart city slots based on urban population, the number of statutory urban local bodies in the state, the Chief Minister asked for more smart cities.
"Cities should first be made to look like good kurta and pyjama before one thinks of putting suit and tie on them. I, however, thank him for assuring cooperation in the implementation of the Smart City Mission."
Yadav was reported to have said that smart cities are like wearing a "tie on kurta and pyjama".
Naidu urged the elected representatives and officials of the cities included in the Smart City Mission to leave behind the jubiliation over the same, and face the tough challenge of making them smart, for which the clock has begun to tick.
Seeking to motivate the Mayors, Municipal Chairpersons and Municipal Commissioners of 40 cities included in Smart City Mission, Naidu said, "You have it in you to rise to the challenge of making these cities smart if you so desire and act accordingly.
"All that is needed is change of mindset and commitment to live up to people's expectations and the desire to be remembered for what you have done instead of worrying about the next elections."