Asserting that the aspirations of migrants from rural areas and slum dwellers have to be balanced with the changing global environment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said ensuring a good life for them is our responsibility.
“In a manner of speaking those sitting in this Vigyan Bhavan, who are responsible for 40 percent population, about 40 percent of our country is dependent on cities. How to give them a quality of life, the basic requirements of an urban dweller? When the entire world is looking at India, we have to reach where the world has reached or at least move in the direction to where they are,” he said while speaking at the launch of Smart Cities Mission and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation here.
“These are the two goals. On one side, there are those who live in ‘jhuggi jhopris’, those who are fighting for two meals and on the other side fast developing world. We can’t sit in hopelessness that the rest of the world has progressed so much and we can’t reach. We cannot leave the poor where they are. It is our responsibility to give them a respectable life,” he added.
Prime Minister Modi called on the representatives present at the event to come up with the ideas for the same.
“You are going to debate on this for two days. Chhattisgarh, a state hit by Maoist insurgency, has started a campaign to end open defecation. We are on the right path. If there would be legal problems then we will find solutions. The economic issues will be sorted out,” he said.
“If you see, compared to rest of the world almost every year equivalent of one country is created in our cities,” he added.
The Prime Minister further said that owning a home is very important as it results in self motivation.
“When a poor man buys a house, it gives him dreams and hopes. Every person dreams of having his or her own home. It is not just about a roof and four walls. It is much beyond that. And, if people don’t get the homes that we want them to have then I will be blamed. But I will not be daunted by any criticism,” he added.
“Go to any city, there are hardly any cities where you will find a concrete plan of how the city would be after five or 10 years. It is our duty to fulfil those dreams that millions have entrusted us to make possible. We will work for it,” Prime Minister Modi said.
“I think people are two steps ahead of the government as far as ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ is concerned. I am also thankful to the media for it. The decision to make cities smart will be taken not by the governments but by the people of the city, the local administration,” he added.
Asserting it is for the first time that India is planning to develop 60 cities simultaneously, Prime Minister Modi assured it is not just a paper based programme.
“Stakeholders of all kinds have been consulted, including from the financial world. This government attaches importance to the consumer security. The builder lobby’s image is very negative today. We are going to get law in the Parliament on it,” he said.
The Prime Minister further said that his government is working towards the protection of the consumer in this field.
“The success will not be measured on how many you defeated and won in the election but how you transformed the lives in cities and towns,” he added.