LUCKNOW: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday invoked former PM and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayeeand termed him a champion of planned urban transformation in the country.
“As an MP from Lucknow, he made the state capital a laboratory of urban infrastructural development. It was his vision, his thoughts which gave the real direction to development of not only the state capital but also brought changes in many other cities,” he said.
PM Narendra Modi, CM Yogi Adityanath and Union ministers at the event on Saturday
Calling Vajpayee his inspiration, Modi said that his government was committed to taking the legacy of ‘Atalji’ forward and bringing a change in the lives of millions of countrymen.
The PM said that even the Metro rail projects which are being carried out in different cities were also a result of Vajpayee’s vision.
“The Metro rail which you see in Delhi is also a result of Atalji’s vision. Now, the Metro rail project is being carried out in many other cities of the country. It is all because of him…” the PM said.
Modi said that the schemes, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Smart Cities Mission (SCM), were also conceived three years ago keeping the vision of Vajpyee in mind.
“He (Vajpayee) used to say that changes cannot be brought in the new city areas unless improvement is brought in the old city areas. The idea has been a driving force for our government in bringing changes to many old parts of various cities through AMRUT and SCM,” he said.
The PM said that even the concept of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) was a result of the vision of Vajpayee, who in 2001 had initiated the Valmiki-Ambedkar Awas Yojana to provide houses to urban poor living in slums.
“We are following the same ideology,” Modi said, maintaining that his government was committed to providing house for each family by 2022. He said that the Centre had sanctioned around 54 lakh houses under PMAY in urban areas and nearly 1 crore houses in rural areas.