Addressing a Global Partnership Summit on Smart Cities here, the Ministers rued that cities "have been converted into slums" in the last seven decades and said it is more challenging to transform them into smart cities then building new ones.
"Our single most failure after independence is in our urban and town and country planning. I wonder Nehruji brought great architects like Le Corbusier and built Chandigarh. But we never thought of waste management, sewage treatment and pollution," he said.
The minister said this planning failure has to be corrected if the goal of smart cities is to be acheived. "In last 70 years, we have converted cities into slums.... We have to correct this planning failure. It is bigger challenge to convert the present city into a smart city," he said

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Noting that more than 80 per cent of the sewage goes into rivers due to unoperational treatment plants, Javadekar said government will make sure that the contractor who builds the plant be given the responsibility to operate it.
"After 68 years of independence, 86 per cent of untreated sewage goes into water bodies, not only in Ganga but all the rivers.
"It is because the contractor only builds the sewage treatment plant and it is operated by somebody else who usually complains about its construction. Now we have taken a decision that the contractor who builds it, will operate it too," he said.


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