Smart cities are not showpieces but the future of the country as growing urbanisation is a fact of life, according to Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu.
He was speaking here on Wednesday at a seminar on the future of Visakhapatnam as a smart city, organised by the Vizagpatanam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Visakha Smart City Forum.
He said smart city had become a buzz word, but it should be understood in its proper perspective. “Smart (efficient) governance, sanitation, a pollution-free environment, an efficient public transport system and quality civic amenities make life in smart cities comfortable. But building such cities is easier said than done. Political will, admistrative skill, and participation of citizens were required to build such cities. Funds can be found,” he said.
He said Visakhapatnam would be developed as a smart city along with Ajmer and Allahabad with the technical assistance of the US. He said the Centre was also committed to helping Andhra Pradesh in offering assistance in building the new capital at Amaravati. “The DPR for Vijayawada metro rail is ready and the one for Vizag metro is getting ready. We will give assistance for the projects,” he said.
He said while the NDA Government was giving all help to the State in its reconstruction efforts after the bifurcation, Congressmen like Jairam Ramesh were making funny statements regarding special status to the State.
“He is accusing us of betraying the State. One wonders why the Congress Government did not deem it fit to include special status for AP in the bifurcation bill if they were so concerned about the welfare of the Andhra people,” he remarked. Business Line