New Delhi: Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said India need not necessarily follow Western practices in building its own smart cities.
Naidu said nature, culture and prosperity should go hand in hand and that smart cities in India should be developed keeping in mind the Indian culture and traditions and need not necessarily follow the western practices.
He was delivering the keynote address at the US-India Smart Cities Conclave here.
He said it was time to "walk the talk" on the Prime Minister's mission on building smart cities.
According to Naidu, unless the "leadership is smart with smart vision and smart commitment" to take reforms, the smart city mission cannot be realized.
He said that as a follow-up of the PM?s visit to the US, the United States has agreed to help develop Visakhapatnam, Ajmer and Allahabad as smart cities.
"Besides," he added "Japan has come forward to help develop Varanasi as a smart city and Singapore has agreed to help develop the capital city of Andhra Pradesh between Vijayawada and Guntur. Barcelona has also come forward to collaborate with DDA and the Ministry of Urban Development in developing a smart city near Delhi."
Giving the contour of smart city concept, he said smart cities should be people-centric.
"They have to be so planned as to have uninterrupted power, water, proper sanitation, efficient management of solid waste, decongestion of roads, last mile connectivity and effective use of ICT among others," he said.
He also said just building smart cities is not enough and sustainability has to be ensured.
He suggested to the US-India Business Council to constitute sub-committees one for each of the three smart cities, go there and study and prepare an action plan and a blue print so that the mission could be taken forward.