Rivers rejuvenate city lives – PM

Focus on sensitive approach towards lakes and rivers

PM Modi said pandemic has shown the importance of street vendors.

VARANASI, Dec 17 (The CONNECT) - Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged mayors to work towards cleanliness and beautification of the towns and cities they represent while promoting local products and preserving its heritage while ensuring sustainable urban development.

Virtually addressing the All-India Mayors’ Conference held in Kashi, Modi said: “Unless we keep our cities clean and pay attention to sanitation and hygiene, no matter how many hospitals we build, we will fall short of supply as these are the main causes of diseases.”

Recalling that Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel started his career as the mayor of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Modi said it is a big responsibility which, if taken seriously, could benefit those pursuing a career in politics immensely. 

“We need to modernise while preserving our rich heritage and traditions as we are doing in Kashi. We need to promote local products as Uttar Pradesh is doing through One District One Product scheme,” he said.

The Prime Minister stressed the importance of having a sensitive approach towards rivers and lakes. He said that water crisis was a global phenomenon and attention needed to be given to rivers flowing by towns. He urged mayors to organise river festivals annually on its river banks in order to make people aware of its historical and cultural importance as well its importance for their existence itself.

He stressed the need to spread the glory of the rivers so that people take pride in them and keep them clean. “Rivers should be brought back to the centre of city life. This will bring a new life to your cities.” said the Prime Minister. He asked the Mayors to revitalise the campaign against the elimination of single-use plastic. He asked the Mayors to look for ways of creating wealth from waste. “Our city should be clean and healthy too, this should be our effort”, he said

He appealed to mayors to take the pledge to keep the cities clean and ensure ban of single use plastics. PM Modi also emphasised the importance of having well-planned sewage and waste water recycling networks.

Similarly, he called for having solid waste disposal and recycling networks, pointing out that he was happy to see that people were getting more and more disciplined in terms of throwing garbage at only designated places.

The Prime Minister also stressed the importance of extending support to the street vendors through Swanidhi Yojana as they could prove to be the lifeline of a town’s economy as well as ensuring convenient accommodations for workers engaged in major construction activities.

“Street vendors are part of our own journey, we will see their troubles every moment. For them, we have brought PM Svanidhi Yojana. This plan is very good. Make a list of them in your city and teach them to do mobile phone transactions. This will facilitate bank finance on much better terms”, the Prime Minister said. He said that during the pandemic their importance came out very clearly.

Modi also impressed upon mayors to organise events, contests and festivals of sorts in their respective towns on the occasion of Amrit Mahotsava to stir civic sense a love for the city among people, especially the younger generation.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that Kashi is an ideal example of amalgamation of India’s rich tradition and a modernity, which every city of the country should aspire for, thanks to Prime Minister Modi’s vision and efforts.

 “Seven years ago,” he said, “Kashi was much different from what it appears today. The lanes seven years ago were narrow and dirty while live electric wires hanging lose from the poles, posed risk to the people’s lives in almost every locality. At that time, open defecation along railway tracks was a common sight. But, now with the building of lakhs of houses with toilets as well as community toilets, the picture of Kashi has changed. He gave full credit to PM Modi’s efforts for this transformation.

Yogi said that sustainable urban development plays a key role in the economic development of a state and will contribute greatly towards making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025. 

Stating that Kashi has set new standards of development, Yogi emphasised the importance of having an Integrated Control and Command Centre (ICCC) and Integrated Traffic Management for developing a city into a smart city. He mentioned the role played by ICCC during the fair at Kumbh in security management.

Yogi said that 17.5 lakh people have got houses under the PM Awas Yojana while LED lights are illuminating 16 lakh localities in the State.

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