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‘Election-centric thinking’ not good for development of towns: PM

The Prime Minister called for the “decentralisation” of urban planning stating that the planning should be done at the state level.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said “election-centric thinking” cannot do any good for the development of towns.

Addressing a video conference of Council of Mayors and Deputy Mayors of BJP in Gujarat, Modi asked the attendees of the conference not to carry “election-centric thinking” stating it cannot do well for the development of towns.

“The thinking of the elected public representatives should not be confined to elections. We cannot do good for the towns with election-centric thinking. Many times a good decision for the towns is not taken due to a fear of loss in the elections,” he said.

The Prime Minister called for the “decentralisation” of urban planning stating that the planning should be done at the state level.

The Prime Minister further said that with the development of satellite towns, the pressure on cities will reduce.

Addressing the video conference of the Council of Mayors and Deputy Mayors of BJP in Gujarat, Modi said, “Urban planning has been stressed upon in this year’s budget. It is necessary that urban-planning should be decentralised. There should be urban planning at the state level; everything cannot be done from Delhi. There are numerous satellite towns in the country which are developing around the big cities. Work should be done to develop the satellite towns strategically. Only then, the pressure on the cities will reduce”.

The Prime Minister also hailed the conduct of the conference and said that it has a “major role to play in preparing a road map of India’s urban development for the next 25 years during Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.

Modi reminded the mayors of the responsibility to work from the grassroot level.

“Our country trusts the BJP. It’s the responsibility of all Mayors to work from the grassroot level. Better facilities to be provided and growth should be well-planned,” he said.

The Prime Minister remembered former Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who was once a member of Ahmedabad Municipality and said that the work done by him is still respected.

“Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was once a member of Ahmedabad Municipality. He had also led Ahmedabad as a Mayor. After this start, he became deputy Prime Minister. The work that he did decades ago in the Municipality is still remembered with respect. We shall follow his path for a better India and work for its development. All Mayors must follow Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Prayas,” Modi said.

Noting that the tier two and three cities are becoming the centre of economic activities, the Prime Minister said there should be a focus on developing industry clusters in such areas.

Addressing the conference, Modi asked the Mayors to take initiatives to ensure that the small vendors get training to use the digital payments system. “The states should start planning for tier 2 and tier 3 cities from now. Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are now becoming the centre of economic activities. Our startups are taking place in those cities. We should focus on developing industry clusters in those areas. Small vendors must get training to use digital payments systems. Mayors must take the initiative to ensure this,” he said.

Listing out the development of urban infrastructure under his government, Modi said the government is making efforts to make towns a centre of a holistic lifestyle.

“India is making investments in its urban infrastructure. Until 2014, the metro network in the country was less than 250 km. Today, it has exceeded 775 km. Work is underway on a 1,000 km of metro route. It is our effort that our towns should become a centre of a holistic lifestyle,” he said.

“The citizens of our country have placed faith in the BJP for the development of cities for a very long time. It is the responsibility of all of us to maintain it continuously, and increase it,” the Prime Minister added.