Virendra Singh Rawat
Lucknow / Dec 17, 2021
Donning the hat of a teacher, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday gave a pep talk to the league of mayors on the topic of civic cleanliness and beautification.
In his virtual address to the All India Mayors’ Conference in Kashi (Varanasi), Modi explained the importance of sanitation and hygiene even as he exhorted mayors to promote local products and preserve the heritage of the cities they represented for sustainable urban development.
“Unless we keep our cities clean, no matter how many hospitals we build, it will still fall short of the supply,” he observed.
Modi recalled even Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first union home minister, had started his career as the mayor of Ahmedabad. He said mayor’s post was a big responsibility, which, if taken seriously, could open new vistas of a career in public life.
“We need to modernise cities 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 (ODOP) scheme,” he remarked.
The PM stressed the importance of having a sensitive approach towards rivers and lakes. He said water crisis was a global phenomenon and urged the mayors to organise annual festivals on river banks to make people aware of their historical and cultural importance.
Further, he appealed the mayors to take a pledge for keeping the cities clean and banning of single use plastic. He emphasised the importance of having a well-planned sewage and waste water recycling network.
Meanwhile, Modi underlined the importance of street vendors in keeping alive a town’s local economy as well as ensuring convenient accommodation for workers engaged in major construction activities.
Speaking on the occasion, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said Kashi was an ideal example of amalgamation of India’s rich tradition and a modernity. He said sustainable urban development played a key role in the economic development of a state, and it will contribute greatly towards making India a US$ 5 trillion economy.