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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday unveiled three mega flagship schemes aimed at developing cities and towns as “new engines for growth”.Underscoring the need for a bigger, stronger urban India, the PM said, “Governments should have looked at urbanisation as an opportunity to drive growth. India’s population is aspiring better standards of living and quality of life and this urban push is the first step in that direction.”
“40% of our population stays in cities. How can they get better quality of life at a time when everyone is looking at India,” asked Modi at a gathering of mayors and heads of urban local bodies from around 500 Indian cities.”We cannot leave our poor to their fate. It is our responsibility,” he said. “This is the first time that in India that we are planning to develop 60 cities simultaneously.”
Stressing on the people’s plan he said, “The decision to make cities smart will be taken not by governments but by the people of the city, the local administration.”
The prime minister pitched for consumer interest in realty. “This government attaches importance to consumer security. The builder lobby’s image is very negative today, we are getting law in Parliament on it.”The three projects — 100 smart cities, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Housing for All – will ring in a new urban era, which will entail an investment of over Rs 3 lakh crore in the next five years.