SMART CITY PROGRAMME
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
NEW DELHI, July 30: The Ministry for Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) will approach the Ministry of Urban Development, seeking more liberal criteria for Northeastern cities to facilitate inclusion in the Smart City list.
Disclosing this, DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh said the Northeast is in the high priority list of the present Central government. There are lots of unexplored potential in the region, he said.
“Considering the typical topographic and developmental status of the eight States in the Northeast, I will take up with the Ministry of Urban Development the possibility of adopting a little more liberal criteria for inclusion of NE cities in the Smart City programme,” said Singh.
Addressing a Smart City Summit as chief guest, Singh said the Smart City initiative is one of the flagship programmes of the Central government, for which, the Urban Development Ministry has developed a very objective and scientific qualifying criteria for a town or city to be included in the programme.
At the same time, Singh said a progressive approach in the Smart City initiative is not confined only to the construction of buildings and roads, but also to providing optimum infrastructure for various facets of life, particularly health and education sectors.
“Besides, a ‘Smart City’ is not smart only on the basis of its physical appearance, but also on the basis of its people who are smart enough to live up to the requirements and expectations of contemporary times,” he added.
In order to make the programme more wholesome, the Union Minister called upon private stakeholders participating in the conference to come forward in partnership with the government and encourage entrepreneurship in the Northeast to take advantage of its vast unexplored potential.
He said for any new start-up initiative in North-east, in addition to the provisions and facilities provided by the Government of India, the Ministry of DoNER has also announced the additiol incentive of providing a Venture Capital Fund.
As of now, Agartala, Guwahati and Imphal have been included in the Government of India’s first and second smart city list along with other few cities.