Citing Delhi smog, Naidu asks to focus on environment in smart city plans

With the national capital region grappling with heavy smog, union minister of Urban Development, Housing and Poverty alleviation Venkaiah Naidu, has strongly pitched for keeping environmental aspects in mind, while framing smart city plans

Stressing that the severe pollution level in the National Capital Region (NCR) region, is due to neglect of the environment over a long period of time, union minister of Urban Development, Housing and Poverty alleviation Venkaiah Naidu, has stressed that everybody needs to do ‘their bit’, to tackle the situation.

“We have to be cautious about the environmental aspect also in smart cities. Environment and development must go hand in hand. If you neglect the environment, you have an example now, of what will happen. Environmental issues that have come up now, are not a political issue or a one-day affair. Every one of us, from the citizens to the centre, from cities to states, everybody has to do their bit to tackle the issue,” Naidu said, on November 7, 2016, while addressing ‘DoPT in-service training programme on smart cities’, in New Delhi.

See also: Over 300 construction sites in Delhi penalised for dust pollution

Keeping environmental issues in mind, Naidu said, the smart cities would go forward, with ‘innovative ideas and learning from others’ examples’. He said smart cities are based on ‘critical pillars’, including governance, sustainable environment, transportation, information and communication technologies, buildings with provision for solar energy, rainwater harvesting and greenery, among others.

To deal with the peaking pollution level, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, on November 6, 2016, announced a series of emergency steps, including shutting down of schools till November 9, banning all construction works for five days and temporary closure of a power plant.


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