Clean rivers, make cities economic hubs: Modi

Clean rivers, make cities economic hubs: Modi

New Delhi, Dec 17 (UNI) Citing the new look Ganga river in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday advocated a nationwide campaign to be led by Mayors to clean rivers and turn cities into vibrant economies.

Addressing the All Indian Mayors Conference virtually, Modi also asked them to include citizens on various platforms through competitions related to 'rangolis' and recitation depicting events of India's independence in the run up to upcoming Republic Day as part of 'AzadikaAmritMahotsav'.

He urged the Mayors to take a pledge to make their respective cities clean and beautify them.

"Our effort should be that cities should remain clean and healthy," he said.

"We should think about the rivers that passes through our cities. We should organise seven-day 'river festivals' every year in our city and the focus should be on their cleanliness. We should make our city hub of vibrant economy with holistic approach."

He added: "It's time for evolution not revolution by restoring the old urban landscapes with innovation and technology."

The aim should be create a new urban India "to ensure ease of living in urban areas and create a roadmap for urban infrastructure development", Modi said.

"This conference will unleash myriad learning opportunities for the Mayors that will help them in enhancing the urban landscape in their respective cities," the Prime Minister said.

"I urge all the Mayors to ignite the spirit of ‘Swachhta’ among different wards of the cities by conducting competitions.

"We must focus on initiating new competitions to arouse national interest that will also push national development."

He said the Central government has started three competitions to celebrate the freedom struggle: a rangoli competition, patriotic songs and nationalist lullaby.

Modi said the Ganga had "immensely contributed to boosting the economy of Varanasi and the development initiatives undertaken to enhance the infrastructure is an example of modernised evolution that can inspire other cities too".

He also asked: "Can we not start a waste management revenue model? After treatment, we can convert waste into wealth and benefit from it immensely. It will not only help us to contribute towards building a 'Swachh Bharat' but also a 'Swasth Bharat'."

He added: "Every citizen must think of ways to improve their city and contribute towards its betterment. This 'Jan Bhagidari' will truly take our nation forward towards newer heights.

"In an effort to make our cities clean and healthy, I believe we should know the birth date of our cities to chart the new identity of our cities."

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