Acquisition of land will not pose a hurdle in the “smart cities” project in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Friday revealing ambitious plans of the Maharashtra government for the “City Naina” project, a city bigger than the commercial capital of India Mumbai. Fadnavis was speaking after addressing an event in London where he interacted with chief executive officers (CEOs) of different organisations.
Fadnavis is on a three-day London tour, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They would inaugurate the London House of B R Ambedkar on Saturday. The property, up for auction, was acquired by the Maharashtra government from private owners for Rs 40 crore.
On Friday, the interaction was confined to development in Maharashtra, especially in critical sectors such as infrastructure, power, water management and public-private partnership model to push economic reforms and mega projects.
Fadnavis said, “We believe optimum use of services will bring down cost, which is our main objective. We believe it can can be achieved by creating smart cities.”
“We have undertaken mega projects to develop infrastructure in a time-bound manner, which is integral for socio-economic development and better quality of life. My experience shows there won’t be problems in land acquisition. We are moving ahead with City Naina, bigger than Mumbai.” The state laws on land acquisition ensured greater compensation and public participation that helps to usher reforms, he explained.
He stressed improving quality of life by creating jobs and providing services. Smart city is not merely about technology but involving people and understanding their needs and Maharashtra is doing that, he observed. He talked of empowerment of mayors to ensure better performance.
Speaking on urban cities, Fadnavis explained the concept of 100 smart cities promoted by the centre. It includes 10 smart cities from Maharashtra. He said, “Naina is going to be a unique model, complete with international airport, rapid transport, walk to work and essential civic amenities.” The township bigger than Mumbai will be meticulously planned to accommodate concerns of a growing population, with thrust on expansion of services sector, to generate employment.
In the context of development, two sectors, power and water, have to be upgraded through better management and investment, he said. “It is our endeavour to put water and power supply in smart grid. The idea is to bring accountability…”
Earlier, Fadnavis met Sterlite Industry Chairman Anil Agarwal and Vedanta CEO Tom Albanese to discuss investment opportunities in Maharashtra.