Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a holistic approach to plan cities and urban spaces.
Addressing Mayors of BJP ruled urban bodies in Gandhinagar, Mr. Modi said that urban development cannot be done with just a single approach of winning elections. PM said, many times, decisions that could prove beneficial for the cities are not taken just out of the fear that such decisions can result in election loss.
He said representatives must not become election-centric but instead should focus on developing satellite towns, and proper urban planning with basic infrastructure like roads, streetlights, and water and sewerage systems. Mr. Modi also emphasised on infrastructure development of tier II and tier III cities that can help in decreasing the burden on big cities with massive populations.
Talking about creating urban infrastructure for mass transport, PM said the Metro rail network in different cities of India was less than 250 kilometres in 2014 and has now increased to more than 750 km, while work is going on for another 1,000 km.
He said, today, we are developing 100 smart cities across the country and so far, we have completed projects worth 75,000 crore rupees. Prime Minister Urban housing is a major challenge for cities and under PM Awas Yojna [Urban], the government has so far allotted 1.25 crore houses to the poor.
The budget for housing projects has been increased from 20,000 crore rupees in 2014 to 2 lakh crore rupees.
As many as 118 Mayors and Deputy Mayors of BJP-ruled urban local bodies from 18 States and Union Territories are participating in the two-day conference being held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.