News Karnataka
Saturday, December 10 2022

‘Need to focus more on creating smart villages, not smart cities’

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Bengaluru: “We are talking about the need to create smart cities but the need of the hour is to focus more on creating smart villages”, said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday.
Speaking after presenting the Gandhi Gram Award to 176 best performing gram panchayats in the state, CM said that there is a need to strengthen infrastructure in rural areas. The increasing number of people migrating from rural to urban areas for various reasons has added to the difficulties faced by urban authorities. The migration is also one of the major reasons for illegal occupation of forest and revenue lands in urban areas.

“Improving the living conditions in rural areas will ease the pressure on urban civic bodies. The Congress and our government are committed to empowering the downtrodden,” he said.

The CM, after recalling former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s contribution towards the decentralisation of power said, “There is a need to take revolutionary measures to strengthen the Panchayat bodies by channelising state funds to the grassroots-level democratic institutions.”

“Karnataka has performed well in the construction of toilets in rural areas. In the last two years, the government has built over 17 lakh toilets in rural areas. We have set a target of building another 37 lakh toilets in the next two years and make the state free from open defecation”, he said.

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil said, “Every panchayat will get about Rs 3 crore per year. Better utilisation of resources can bring about desired changes.”

Each of the 176 panchayats received Rs 5 lakh for their overall performance.

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