Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday said the Maharashtra government suffered a loss after IPL matches were moved out of the state because the media “created a controversy” around water wastage.
“The media created the controversy and everyone believed that if there is no cricket match, there would be no use of water in the stadiums,” Modi said while speaking at a function in the city to mark the first anniversary of the Smart City Mission, where he launched a slew of smart city projects.
Stating that sports grounds required water for 365 days a year to keep them green, Modi said the state government had to face a loss after the matches were shifted out of Maharashtra.
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The Prime Minister’s comments assume significance because it was the Bombay High Court which had directed the shifting of IPL matches out of the state.
Speaking on urbanisation, the PM said it should be looked as an opportunity to reduce poverty. Talking about smart cities, Modi said, “It means equal and sufficient power, water and other civic facilities to all. The Smart City Mission is an attempt to improve basic services using the latest technology.”
Pune was ranked second in the smart city contest and lost the first position with a small margin in the evaluation, the PM said, adding that it should compete for the top position.
Earlier, he inaugurated 14 smart city projects in Pune along with 69 projects for other cities in the country. Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, who was also present at the function, said the Smart City Mission was a sort of an “urban renaissance”.