VISAKHAPATNAM:People should stop expecting the government to act on every problem in daily life and instead become active partners in the development process, Union minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu has said. He told people to pay taxes on time, which is essential for funding government functioning and developmental works, and advised them against being mere spectators after paying taxes.
Speaking at the launch of Citizen Connect initiative by the Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Wednesday, Venkaiah Naidu said that people should take interest in the development process and so ensure that elected representatives and officials are performing their duties properly. He reiterated that the Smart City proposals should reflect the Indian culture and tradition, and not remain as simple adoption of western cities.
“Smart City works would be taken up under PPP. Several US companies through the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) would be helping us prepare the detailed project report for Smart City. The US companies would then compete with other international companies to bag the contract,” he said.
He said that a Smart City cannot be built overnight and asked the people of Vizag to be patient. Later, he released a summary of the inputs collected during 12 previous round table sessions with various stakeholders in the city.
Visakhapatnam MP and AP state BJP president K Haribabu asked the people to be ready to pay their taxes to help fund the development process. Urban development ministry joint secretary Praveen Prakash spoke on various aspects of Smart City building and various mechanisms that could be adopted by cities wishing to turning smart.
At the workshop, two panel discussions on citizen participation and industry requirements were held. Representatives of various resident welfare associations debated with the government authorities on issues like health, sanitation, security and others which are faced by Vizag citizens on a daily basis.
GVMC commissioner Pravin Kumar explained the different initiatives undertaken by the government, various stages of their implementations and also the limitations faced by the municipal corporation in implementing them.
City police commissioner Amit Garg spoke on the security measures being taken by the police department, particularly the success of IT initiatives like iClik and Abhayam.
The second panel discussion was on ‘Investment Opportunities and Challenges and Ease of Business in Vizag’ where industrialists representing various bodies participated. Neeraj Sarda from CII-Visakhapatnam chapter, CREDAI former chairman B Raja Srinivas and G Shiv Kumar of Maple Software discussed various concerns being faced by industries like service tax, corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds and approval mechanisms for industry, among others.
Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) president Kancharla Ramabrahmam, VUDA vice-chairman T Baburao Naidu, VCCI vice-president Monish Row, conference convener Sandhya Godey and Phoenix IT Solutions Limited chief executive officer and managing director Muralikrishna Gannamani were present.