Ralegan-Siddhi (Maharashtra), June 29: Social activist An Hazare on Wednesday said Prime Minister rendra Modi’s ‘Smart Cities’ initiative will cause disastrous consequences for India’s domintly rural economy. In a three-pager to the PM, Hazare said while Mahatma Gandhi advocated developing the villages as self-sufficient units, Modi talked about urbanization and ‘Smart Cities’. He said that urbanization had shot up consumption of petrol, diesel, kerosene and coal, leading to diseases and global warming, meltdown of the ice-caps and rising sea levels. Besides, in 68 years since independence, the importance given to urbanization had created a large number of accompanying issues like rising population as well as more and bigger dams, Hazare added. Referring to Gandhi’s call to ‘Go To Villages’, Hazare asked Modi to emphasise on making villages the centre-point for development which would have overall benefits for the entire country. Hazare’s letter came in response to Modi’s speech while iugurating the NDA government’s tionwide Smart Cities Project in Pune on June 25. Citing the example of his own village Ralegan-Siddhi in Ahmedgar district with 2,500 people, he said that by following Gandhiji’s ideals, the village with 80 percent starvation rate now produced agriculture produce worth crores of rupees and at least 5,000 liters of milk daily. He said the local youths were fully employed and earn more than what they would if they had migrated to cities. (ians)
Hazare calls Smart Cities project 'disastrous'