The quality of life in urban areas is adversely affected by the rising air pollution and poor sanitation. Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu, Minister of Urban Development has affirmed that, "the objective of smart cities initiative is to promote living in harmony with nature."
Shri Naidu addressed at the Convocation of The Energy Research Institute that, urban designing and planning approaches, which promote such a harmony, is the need of the hour.
He emphasised that climate change concerns need to be factored in urban development strategies and action plans.
Shri Naidu pointed out a TERI Report that 42,000 MW of electricity could be saved by 2021 by adopting energy efficient building practices.
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".
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with reliance on growing motorized individual transport, unscientific municipal solid waste and sewage management, outdated Building Bye-laws need to be tackled.
Shri 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.
The need for increased adoption of new and renewable energy sources like solar and wind power and green building construction practices are on the rise.
Shri Naidu has stressed on the need for sustainable development harmonizing environmental, ecological and social aspects with emphasis on efficient resource use.