The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that local bodies should always place citizens at the centre of civic governance, adding that people’s participation in formulating and planning projects and services will improve execution and delivery of the services. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the new building of Pune Municipal Corporation, in Pune, Maharashtra today. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis, the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.The Vice President said that Pune has the chance to become a trailblazer in urban governance by adopting a futuristic and people-centric approach. He complimented the Municipal Corporation for issuing municipal bonds for augmenting resources to take up developmental projects in the city. He has also asked the local body to improve its credit worthiness to borrow finances from lending agencies.Highlighting the importance of healthy lifestyle, the Vice President suggested authorities to create non-motorized zones. Every city must have dedicated bicycle tracks, pedestrian lanes and parks, he added.
The Vice President said that local body representatives must work collectively, irrespective of political affiliations, to protect water bodies and prevent their encroachment. While expressing his appreciation at the progress made in the implementation of projects under the Smart City mission, he cautioned against cost and time overruns while executing various projects. To improve the governance in urban local bodies, a bottom up approach has to be implemented with zero tolerance towards corruption, he added.The Vice President said that local bodies need to be provided with the three 3 Fs - Funds, Functions and Functionaries - for effective governance. He said that 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments should be implemented in letter and spirit.The Vice President said that authorities must ensure that people get better and quality services. It should be noted that in the present digital age, citizens are seeking prompt and quick action on every complaint or petition submitted by them to the municipal authorities, he added.