Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday announced that the state government plans to create an urban agglomeration called NAINA that will host 22 smart cities and the first integrated development plan for this programme was ready.
He was speaking as the host of the first ever BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave which was inaugurated in Mumbai on Thursday to coincide with the inauguration of the Maritime India Summit 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The conclave has brought together representations from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and is the first initiative after India took over the BRICS presidency in February this year.
Mr Fadnavis said, “Maharashtra is the most urbanised state in India. This new government under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi looks at urbanisation as an opportunity. We (Maharashtra) are going ahead with our own programme of making 10 smart cities and countries from all across the world are willing to help us in that. The first Indian smart city is launched in Maharashtra and I am sure it would set an example for all other states and cities.”
Stating that his government is focusing on improving solid waste management and Swachh Maharashtra Mission under the aegis of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Mr Fadnavis said, “The key to bring about sustainable development in urban areas is urban mobility and a single integrated public transport system. Time has come to collaborate, work together, translate and move ahead.”
Terming the process of urbanisation as “inevitable”, Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu stressed on the importance of positive correlation between urbanization and development in spite of the challenges of urbanisation.
The three-day conclave, organised by Mumbai First in collaboration with the state and central governments, will bring together more than 75 delegates including governors, city leaders, urban planners, and experts from BRICS nations.
The BRICS conclave aims to provide a common platform for delegatesto converge, connect and learn from the experiences of other cities. Urban governance, safety of cities, transport, financing city infrastructure, sustainable and affordable housing are some of the topics that will be discussed at the conclave.
Mr Naidu also released The Making of Vibrant BRICS Cities, a collection of essays authored by more than 25 eminent writers.
The book depicts the challenges and the opportunities before cities in BRICS nations in becoming a vibrant urban city. A special postal cover was also released by Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, who presided over the inaugural function.
Conclave will bring together over 75 delegates including governors, leaders from BRICS nations
Source: The Hindu