Chennai: With two cities already in the list of 12 nationwide selected for the National Heritage city Development and Augmentation Yojana project, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has requested that Srirangam also be added to it, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.
“Under HRIDAY scheme, two of the total of 12 cities identified for heritage status are from Tamil Nadu – Kancheepuram and Velankanni… now former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has requested to consider Srirangam also to be identified for heritage status,” Venkaiah Naidu said.
Addressing a seminar on ‘Tamil Nadu Smart Cities,’ organised by CII here, he noted that that every major city in the state has a history of heritage (ruled by) the Pallavas and Pandyas. “If you take any city in Tamil Nadu, it has got a great history,” he said.
Government had on January 21 launched the Rs 500 crore project for 12 cities, aimed at preserving and rejuvenating the rich cultural heritage. Cities selected were Amritsar, Ajmer, Amravati, Badami, Dwarka, Gaya, Warangal, Puri, Kanchipuram, Mathura, Varanasi and Vellankanni.
On the smart cities initiative, Naidu said they had discussions with all concerned.
“We consulted various state governments and had interactions with foreign countries also and we are now going to finalise the concept tomorrow or day after.. We cannot convert capitals into smart cities. Smart cities cannot be built overnight.”
A smart city was basically one which was doable, workable,sustainable and inclusive and one which could take care of all sections, he added.
Naidu lauded the steps by the Tamil Nadu government in alleviating poverty, saying, “If you take some parts of Tamil Nadu, especially in Chennai, you don’t see any slums along the Cooum, now there are multi-storeyed buildings…Karunanidhiji, MGR and Jayalalithaa, all have contributed towards it.”
A total of 13 countries interested in developing infrastructure in India had already met him, he said, adding “two more countries are in the pipeline.”
On other issues, Naidu observed that political parties which supported government over issues in the Lok Sabha were not doing so in Rajya Sabha and stressed the need to discuss, debate and take decisions in the House and not disrupt it.
“Unfortunately, things don’t get moved in Rajya Sabha. Some things get stuck…. Some parties which support the same issue in Lok Sabha oppose them in the Rajya Sabha,” he said.
“I say, I’m government, I propose. if you have opposition, you oppose and then we dispose… I have no problem.. if you want to oppose, you oppose but allow the House to function.”