Every State to get one Smart City ; List of 100 smart city aspirants yet to be finalized, says Shri Venkaiah Naidu




Every State to get one Smart City ; List of 100 smart city aspirants yet to be finalized, says Shri Venkaiah Naidu

Smart Cities to enable decent quality of life, clean environment, promote smart solutions and citizen centric approach



Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu today assured the Rajya Sabha that every State in the country will get to develop at least one city as Smart City under the central government’s initiative of developing 100 smart cities. Replying to a Starred Question raised by Dr.K.V.P.Ramachandra Rao in the Upper House, Shri Naidu said that the Union Cabinet accorded approval for the Smart Cities Mission last week and guidelines for its implementation including the criteria for selection of cities are being finalised. The Minister clarified that the process of selection of cities for developing them as smart cities will be initiated after the guidelines are issued to the States.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu has broadly defined the concept of Smart City as “One(City) having provision of basic infrastructure to give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of Smart Solutions, keeping citizens at the centre”. He further said that the Smart Cities Mission involves ‘an area based approach’ and it is meant to set examples that can be replicated both within and outside the Smart City. Shri Naidu observed that this Mission is expected to catalyse creation of similar Smart Cities in various regions and parts of the country.

The Minister informed the House that Smart City aspirants will be selected based on a ‘City Challenge Competition’. He said that cities will be graded based on their revenues, expenditure, availability of infrastructure relating to transport, drinking water, solid waste management etc. Shri Naidu emphasized the need for smart leadership and smart people to achieve the objectives of the Smart Cities Mission by undertaking the much needed urban reforms.

Elaborating on the benefits of India-US Cooperation in making Visakhapatnam, Allahabad and Ajmer as Smart Cities, Shri Naidu said that that the US will extend technical support for preparing Master Plans for these three cities besides assisting in capacity building and undertaking feasibility studies etc. He clarified that there will be no financial support from the US. The United States Trade Development Agency (USTDA) has signed MoU with the States of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in this regard.


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Inter-Linking of Rivers

                                                                     

     Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation  has constituted a “Task Force for Interlinking of Rivers” vide Office Memorandum dated April 13, 2015, to look into issues relating to Inter linking of Rivers (ILR). The terms of reference of Task Force are as follows:-

I.                 Take-up all issues for expediting the work on Interlinking of River as per National Perspective Plan for Interlinking of Himalayan and Peninsular rivers. They would also facilitate interlinking of intra-state, intra-basin rivers. Briefly the Task Force would review the;

a.               Time schedules for completion of remaining feasibility studies and DPRs.
b.              Implementation schedule of the ILR project.
c.               Innovative funding mechanisms for ILR Projects.

II.      Consider alternative plans, in case the proposals in the National Perspective Plan are not feasible.
III.     Provide guidance on norms of appraisal of individual projects in respect of economic viability, socio-economic, environmental impacts and preparation of resettlement plan;
IV.    Devise suitable mechanisms for bringing about speedy consensus amongst the states;
 V.      Propose suitable organisational structure for implementing the project;
VI.     Review the work of the sub-committees set up by the special committee on ILR and facilitate the completion of task assigned to them.
VII.   Any other aspects considered essential to achieve the objective mentioned above.

    In order to speed up the implementation of Inter- Linking of River Programme and to arrive at consensus on the link proposals between the States, a Special Committee on interlinking of Rivers, has already been constituted by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in September, 2014. Three meetings of the Special Committee for Interlinking of Rivers (ILR) have been held so far, wherein State Irrigation/Water Resources Ministers along with the Secretaries of various States attended the meeting. The Committee after considering the views of all the stakeholders is proceeding ahead to expedite the objectives of interlinking rivers as per terms of reference of the Committee.

 This information was given by Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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Nirmal Ganga Sahbhagita Programme

The Government has launched ‘Nirmal Ganga Sahbhagita’ a sustainable initiative with Urban Local Bodies(ULBs) located on the banks of the river Ganga for achieving the objective of Clean Ganga. The initiative aims at sensitizing the ULBs about the pollution in river Ganga arising primarily due to dumping of solid waste in the river/nallas and to involve them in a long term engagement in stoppage of the solid waste flow from nallas/drains to the river. Apart from this ULBs can perform certain activities for achieving the shared objective of rejuvenating the river Ganga. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) intends to enter in to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ULBs for effective and fruitful engagement in this regard. The draft MoU is being prepared and the broad objective of the partnership is to involve the ULBs in the areas of solid waste management, installation and maintenance of clarifiers/screens in the nallas/drains to support primary treatment of waste water, maintaining ‘litter free zones’, 500m along the river basin; engaging volunteer force and youth in ghat cleaning & monitoring and conducting public outreach activities.

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Contamination of Ground Water

Ground water quality data generated during various scientific studies and ground water quality monitoring by Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) indicates that the ground water in parts of 20 States is contaminated by Fluoride and in 21 States by Nitrate in excess of World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. According to guideline, values for contaminants recommended by WHO (2011) for drinking water standards, Fluoride should not be more than 1.5 mg/l and nitrate should not be more than 50 mg/l. BIS limit for Fluoride is same and for Nitrate it is 45 mg/l as against 50 mg/l prescribed by WHO.

Ground water quality monitoring indicates that apart from Fluoride and Nitrate, ten States have excess concentration of Arsenic, twenty four States have higher concentration of Iron and fifteen States have higher concentration of Heavy Metals such as Lead, Chromium and Cadmium beyond norms prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS-2012). Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation (MoDWS) has informed that 20% of the allocated funds under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) are earmarked for water quality problems. Further, the States may also utilize upto 67% of funds released under NRDWP for improving water quality of ground and surface water. Also, as a long term measure, all the State Governments have been advised to provide piped water supply from alternate safe sources to all water quality affected habitations with priority to cover Fluoride and Arsenic affected habitations. As a short term measure, the States were advised to set up community water treatment plants in all remaining Arsenic, Fluoride, Heavy Metals, toxic elements, pesticides and fertilizers affected habitations, providing 8-10 lpcd( liter per capita per day) of safe drinking water on or before March, 2017.

CGWB carries out exploratory drilling to delineate contaminant free aquifer zones and successful exploratory wells are handed over to the concerned State Agencies for utilization. CGWB also provides technical guidance to State Agencies in tackling the problem of water quality.

This information was given by Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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Farakka Barrage Project

In the last five years Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of Farakka Barrage Project (FBP) has agreed for construction of two bridges over Farakka Feeder Canal.

On the request of NTPC, one bridge was agreed by TAC of FBP in November 2011, at a distance of 33.50 m from the existing bridge over Feeder canal. The second bridge was approved by TAC of FBP in 2013 near the existing Rail-cum-Road bridge at Ahiron on the request of NHAI. These bridges are being constructed by NTPC and NHAI, respectively. As informed, the aforesaid bridges are likely to be completed during, 2015.

This information was given by Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
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Proposals for Flood Management and Construction of Dams

A total of 517 eligible proposals for flood management including construction of dams (embankments), which had received all the mandatory clearances and were recommended by the various States have been approved for funding under Flood Management Programme (FMP) during XI and XII Plans. Out of these, 293 projects have been completed and central assistance of Rs. 4459.08 crore has been released to various States upto April 30, 2015.

This information was given by Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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Rehabilitation and Resettlement of Pong Dam Oustees

Rehabilitation and Resettlement of Pong Dam oustees from Himachal Pradesh has been undertaken in Rajasthan. The Govt. of Rajasthan has informed that land has been allotted to 10,627 of the 12,988 oustees for which, eligibility certificates were received by them from the Govt. of Himachal Pradesh, for allotment of land.

The Govt. of Rajasthan has identified the land for allotment to the oustees in Stage-II of Indira Gandhi Nahar Project. They process the cases of oustees and allot land to them after the eligibility certificates are issued by the Govt. of Himachal Pradesh and application is received from them for allotment of land in the identified area.

This information was given by Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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Water Supply Position in Sunderbans

The World Bank in its recent report – Building Resilience for Sustainable Development of the Sundarbans has pointed out poor situation of drinking water supply in Sudarbans. The report highlights scarcity of sweet water due to saline intrusion, limited availability of sweet water aquifers and submergence of water sources during floods and irregular supply of good quality bleaching powder for disinfection. Govt of West Bengal has commissioned Rural Water Supply Schemes in 372 villages covering 12.60 lakh populations in North 24 Parganas and South Parganas Districts. Government of West Bengal is implementing a programme to raise the height of tube-wells to avoid their submergence. Some pilot projects have successfully recharged aquifers with rainwater to reduce the salinity.

As per the report of World Bank, there were an estimated 1925 deaths and over 1.5 million cases of diarrhoea in the Sundarbans in 2008. Under West Bengal Action Plan on Climate Change, Sundarbans has been identified for improving the condition of drinking water supply also. Sundarbans Development Board is taking effective steps to develop water related infrastructure in the region. Rs.100 crore each has been earmarked under 12th and 13th Plan for surface water treatment plants in Saline Coastal Zones. Some solar pumps have also been installed and a desalination plant with RO has been commissioned for providing saline-free water. Further, in arsenic-prone zones, Public Health Engineering Department of West Bengal is providing safe water through an arsenic mitigation plant.

This information was given by Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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Safety of women in the country is of utmost priority for the Government

Safety of women in the country is of utmost priority for the Government. The Ministry is endeavouring to put in place effective mechanism to provide safe environment for women to work and live and fulfil their potential.

Ministry recognize that incidence of violence against women cannot be controlled unless mindset of people, in general, are made to change. Continuous awareness creation among men and women in the society through workshops, seminars, street plays, Nari ki Chaupals, Beti Janmotshav are being undertaken at the district level. In collaboration with Ministry of Panchayati Raj Special (Mahila) Gram Sabhas have also been conducted.

Further, advertisements in the press and electronic media educating peoples about issues of domestic violence, Child Sex Ratio and Child Marriage etc also being taken up. Platforms such as the International Women’s Day and the National Girl Child Day are used to create awareness on issues related to women and to bring to the centre stage issues such as sex selective abortions and child marriage.

Through Sabla programme of this Ministry, adolescent girls in the age group of 11 to 18 years are imparted about training with regard to legal rights of women.

This information was given by the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in a written reply to an unstarred question in the Rajya Sabha today.

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13.42 lakh operational Anganwadi Centres in India as on 31.12.2014

There are 13.42 lakh operational anganwadis (AWCs) in India as on 31.12.2014. These anganwadis include 187997 (Uttar Pradesh), 114434 (West Bengal), 108010 (Maharastra), 91677 (Bihar), 71140 (Odisha), and 64518 (Karnataka) among others.

As per schematic norms of the ICDS Scheme, Anganwadi Workers and Helpers are honorary women workers.

As per available information, there are 24.58 lakh women viz. 12.93 lakh Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and 11.65 lakh Anganwadi Helpers (AWHs) in-position/ working in these AWCs as on 31.12.2014. The total number of AWWs includes 176030 (Uttar Pradesh), 107235 (West Bengal), 105262 (Maharastra) and 91860 (Bihar) among others.

This information was given by the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in a written reply to an unstarred question in the Rajya Sabha today.

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Sports Minister asks DG, SAI to rush to spot to give factual report on the incident in Kerala

All possible help to the family of departed female athlete

Best possible treatment to three girls undergoing treatment is top priority

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has issued following statement on incident that has happened in Kerala:

“I am deeply aggrieved by the incident that has happened in Kerala. The young girl who has died was a very promising sportsperson. It is a big loss to the country in general and Sports Authority of India and sports fraternity in particular. I convey my condolences to the bereaved family. We will give all possible help to the bereaved family.

Three girls are still undergoing treatment. I pray for their speedy recovery. To provide them the best possible treatment is our top priority.

Local police is investigating the matter. I have also directed the Director General of SAI to rush to the spot and give me a factual report. I have specifically directed him to ensure that the best possible treatment is made available to the three girls who are undergoing treatment.

While law will take its own course, at this stage I would only like to say that if anyone from Sports Authority of India is found guilty in connection with this tragic incident, strictest possible action will be taken against him or her.”

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Every State to get one Smart City ; List of 100 smart city aspirants yet to be finalized, says Shri Venkaiah Naidu Every State to get one Smart City ; List of 100 smart city aspirants yet to be finalized, says Shri Venkaiah Naidu Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 2:45 PM Rating: 5

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