ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Elusive Smartness

On 25 June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met more than 500 heads of urban local bodies from all over the country. The New Delhi meeting was also an occasion to unveil flagship schemes for “rejuvenating urban centres” in the country. The Prime Minister launched the government’s Smart City Mission, the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, and the Housing for All by 2022 mission.

The little more than 30% of the country’s population who live in cities—a figure that will only grow in the next few years—can certainly do with better living conditions. Badly polluted, clogged with vehicles, beset with glaring inequalities and with housing and infrastructure whose raison d'être seem swelling the pockets of real estate biggies than providing sustainable living conditions, Indian cities are in dire need of a fresh vision. So on the face of it, the government’s plan to rejuvenate cities and build new ones seems to be the first step in addressing a worrying problem.

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