Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused the Congress of ignoring urban infrastructure during its rule, saying that Indian cities were wrecked by traffic jams, power deficits and leaking sewage system and his government had invested heavily to bring up the infrastructure according to 21st century standards.
Modi, who inaugurated urban projects across various locations across poll-bound Madhya Pradesh including houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, and distributed the Swachh Survekshan-2018 Awards, described Indore as the country's "cleanest city".
Terming cities as "energy centres", he said they draw people in large numbers in search of better study and employment opportunities but had been ignored over the years which led to increase in population but not the facilities.
"Shortage of water, disorder in power supply, leaking sewage system, traffic jams on roads, widespread dirt and filth, this is the identity that Congress has given to our cities after its long rule but our government has taken upon itself to bring urban infrastructure to the levels of 21st century," Modi said.
He said BJP-led government has spent Rs 2.30 lakh crors on urban renewal in the last four years compared to Rs 95,000 crore spent by Congress-led UPA government in 10 years.
Modi also expressed optimism about his government achieving its cleanliness target.
"Our dream of Swacch Bharat for (Mahatma) Gandhiji's 150th birth anniversary is now on the verge of becoming a reality. The people have now set aim that India will achieve total cleanliness. We have constructed more than eight crore toilets in the last four years. More than 65 lakh toilets have been constructed in MP only," he said.
He said changing mindset of people was important to achieve cleanliness.
"Every Indian should take a pledge to keep cities clean. Indore's ranking as the cleanest city is a perfect example to those who thought that Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan is a joke, who mocked our scheme," Modi said.
Modi also remembered Devi Ahilyabai Holkar and said her contribution to Indore's development was fondly remembered by people.
"Ahilyabai always cared about people. During her rule, she paid attention even to minute of issues faced by public. There is a lot to learn from her administrative skills," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)