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With an impetus on infrastructure creation, Centre has now asked states to undertake an integrated approach for construction of roads so that all other associated infrastructure are installed simultaneously including power transmission lines, water pipelines among others and the roads do not have to be dug frequently for further installation projects in the future, said union minister of state for housing and urban affairs, Kaushal Kishore.

In an interview to Mint, Kishore said that he recently held a meeting with representatives of few states, wherein he gave the proposal to adopt a coherent and integrated approach and all agencies of respective states including the Public Works Department (PWD), department of power, department of water among others meet and plan laying down all the required infrastructure, including power and water pipelines simultaneously during the construction of a particular road. “At present, PWD constructs a road, then comes the power department which digs that road and lays power lines, then the water department lays water pipelines and so on, digging the road every now and then, causing much inconvenience to the public,“ the minister said.

“We have proposed that whenever a road is constructed, people of all departments should sit together and decide on which infrastructure would be laid down under the road and it should be ensured that those are laid down before or simultaneously along with the construction of the road, rather than later, so that the roads are not dug again, this will help in saving money and time," he added.

The development comes at a time when the government is giving a major emphasis on infrastructure development. The Union Budget for FY23 also announced that the infrastructure development in the country would be guided by the PM GatiShakti initiative.

Further, in this year’s budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also stressed on urban planning and announced the constitution of a high-level committee of urban planners, urban economists and institutions to make recommendations on urban sector policies, capacity building, planning, implementation and governance.

Speaking on the flagship ‘Smart Cities Mission’, Kishore said that the mission would be completed by the extended timeline of 2023. On the delay in its implementation and completion, he said that the delay was largely on the back of alleged lacklustre attitude of the non-BJP states.

He said that the during the inception of the scheme in 2015, the then Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh delayed the process of selection of cities in the state.

“The state government under Akhilesh Yadav took around three years from 2015 to 2018 to select just 10 cities, and such delays by several non-BJP governments delayed the overall process as the work could not start till all the 100 cities were not selected," Kishore, who is a Lok Sabha member from Mohanlalganj constituency in Uttar Pradesh said.

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