Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday said that civic bodies and urban planners should implement Smart City projects in such a way that people living in cities feel happy.
Delivering the inaugural speech at the Smart City Summit here, Rupani said: “In Gujarat, urban population accounts for more than 45 per cent. Population is growing and consequently cities are expanding. People’s expectations increase as urbanisation increases. They expect good hospitals, good schools and colleges, good roads, electricity, water etc. But the concept of smart city does not merely mean advancement of technology. We want to increase happiness index of people also. City governments and urban planners should implement Smart City projects in such a way that people living in cities feel happy.”
The Smart City Summit is a conference on the Smart Cities Mission of the central government organised by Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) with support of private firms which have been engaged by the municipality to implement the Smart City project in Rajkot.
Urging city governments i.e municipal corporations, and urban planners to be proactive to meet the challenges posed by rapid urbanisation, the CM said: “Urbanisation is going to be a huge challenge in the coming days. Every day, people from villages are migrating to cities. Big cities in every state are expanding. In such a scenario, if solutions of issues arising out of this urbanisation are not found, the situation will go out of control.”
While inaugurating the summit, the CM launched the master development plan for Raiya area which will be developed as a compact town. He also launched the website of Rajkot smart city project.
Rupani said that his government had taken many initiatives in the last four months to keep pace with
urbanisation. He enlisted that the government had released common GDCR (general development and control rules) and have approved town planning (TP) schemes, some of which had been pending for the last 20 years. He said that now people in Gujarat can apply online for obtaining permission to construct residential and commercial premises and that such applications are disposed of within 48 hours.
Stating that his government is giving equal importance to municipalities, which govern smaller towns, the CM said: “To strengthen municipality administration, the state government has divided 162 municipalities into groups of 25 each and has appointed an IAS officer for each group to supervise its functioning.”