New Delhi: Expressing serious concern over rising air pollution and deteriorating sanitation in urban areas adversely impacting quality of urban life, Minister of Urban Development M.Venkaiah Naidu has asserted that “the objective of smart cities initiative is to promote living in harmony with nature”. In his address at the Convocation of The Energy Research Institute here today,Naidu called for reorientation of urban designing and planning approaches that promote such a harmony.
Elaborating on this,M.Venkaiah Naidu has said that climate change concerns need to be factored in urban development strategies and action plans. He expressed concern over “designing of residential, commercial and office buildings blocking natural light and air and in turn depending on electricity for the same”. Referring to a TERI Report, Naidu said that 42,000 MW of electricity could be saved by 2021 by adopting energy efficient building practices.
Referring to the adverse consequences on the quality of urban life of poor urban transport infrastructure with reliance on growing motorized individual transport, unscientific municipal solid waste and sewage management, outdated Building Bye-laws etc. Naidu said that his ministry is seeking to address these concerns in collaboration with states and urban local bodies under new initiatives like smart cities, infrastructure development in 500 cities, Swachh Bharat Mission etc. He stressed on the need for increased adoption of new and renewable energy sources like solar and wind power and green building construction practices.