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Urban planning is India's biggest failure, minister says

India's Union Minister for the environment Prakash Javadekar says basics like sewage treatment must be improved before ambitious 'smart' cities plans can be realized. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

Before India can realize its vision of 100 gleaming “smart” cities, it needs to tackle a more prosaic goal: waste treatment. 

Speaking last week at the Global Partnership Summit on Smart Cities in Delhi, Union Minister for the environment Prakash Javadekar noted that 86 percent of India’s untreated sewage flows directly into rivers. According to the Economic Times, Javadekar called urban planning in India “our single most failure after independence” in 1947.  

These failures must be corrected if India is to implement its 100 Smart Cities initiative led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Javadekar said. He cited dormant sewage treatment plants built by contractors who rely on third parties to run them as a major problem. New rules are in the works that would require contractors to operate such facilities after they build them, the Times says. 

Economic Times

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