New Delhi | Delhi will be developed into a global city and the country’s first ‘smart city’ will be set up here to decongest the national capital and facilitate it with all modern amenities, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said here today. We want to make Delhi a truly global city, having all latest and modern amenities and facilities that any other global city like London or San Francisco has.
We want to have world-class entertainment venues like Disneyland or Universal Studios here, Naidu said. The Narendra Modi-led NDA government has planned to set up 100 ‘smart cities’ and Naidu said that the first such city will come up in the national capital. Delhi is the heart of India and the first smart city would come up here. The city of Barcelona in Spain has also promised technological support to us in our effort in this direction, he said.
I saw the city of Barcelona, and apart from modern buildings, they have also preserved their old architecture. We also want to preserve our traditional architecture, that India is so richly endowed with, even as we embrace modernity, he added. The Minister was speaking at a function organised by DDA at its headquarters here to officially kick-start the allotment process of its ‘Housing Scheme 2014′.
Naidu handed over allotment letters to the first few successful applicants. Talking about the ‘smart city’ initiative further, he said the focus would be to build global educational and health institutes and entertainment facilities. We also want to liberalise the industrial estate policy. An industrial space may not necessarily contain factories, but showrooms also. A committee will be formed to look into this issue as well, the Minister said.
DDA’s Vice-Chairman Balvinder Kumar in a media briefing yesterday had outlined the plans for the ‘smart city’ in the capital. The ‘smart city’ will be a complete sub-city, which would be located in an area of 20-24 hectares, zoned out of Dwarka, Rohini and Narela, and will be equipped with latest technologies and waste-management techniques. The smart city will have a world-class infrastructure, 24-hour power supply, complete wi-fi connectivity, and will employ green technology and latest water conservation techniques like rain-harvesting and waste management techniques, among other facilities, Kumar said.
Outlining the achievements of the government in the financial sector, Naidu said, As per the PM’s vision of ending financial untouchability, we have opened 10 crore new bank accounts in the last nine weeks under the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana.
Naidu said the land for ‘smart city’ in Delhi would be acquired through land-pooling, on which the ministry and the DDA is currently working. He said besides increasing population, Delhi also has a problem of large number of vehicles and so there was a need to promote public transport. Currently, there are 85 lakh vehicles in the city and to decongest it, we want to bring in circular railway, mass rapid transit system, revive the BRT corridor and expand the reach of metro network, he said.
Attacking Congress on the issue of blackmoney, Naidu said, If they are shouting about the issue, they should tell where the blackmoney is stashed. We have been working on the matter (blackmoney). There is a SIT on it and we have also given some names to them, he said. The Supreme Court-constituted SIT, which has former Supreme Court Judges M B Shah and Arijit Pasayat as its Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively, recently submitted its latest report on the black money menace wherein it has disclosed tracing of Rs 4,479 crore held by Indians in a Swiss bank and unaccounted wealth worth Rs 14,958 crore within India.
Asking DDA to provide housing facility to people who migrate to the capital city, Naidu said it should take up construction of 1 lakh houses by the end of 2015 and informed that around 62,000 houses are already under various stages of construction and planning. He said Delhi Building Bylaws have been simplified by the government and no sanction is now required for construction on plots of upto 100 sq m. Naidu said the government recently allowed freehold rights (from leasehold) to the residents of 23 Nazul estates whose leases had expired.
Similarly, ownership rights have also been given to the residents of areas like Pahar Ganj, Darya Ganj, Karol Bagh, among others, who were till now paying ‘chulha tax’ and were not owners of their residences. The Minister directed DDA to organise special on-site camps to create awareness regarding the procedure of leasehold-to-freehold conversions in Nazul estates. Members of Parliament Meenakshi Lekhi and Parvesh Verma were also present on the occasion.
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