Gujarat to generate energy from waste in 50 cities: Modi

Gandhinagar, Oct 17 (IANS) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said his government will run a pilot project in 50 cities to generate power, fertilizer and reusable water by setting up solid waste management plants.

Modi told an event here that the power, reusable water and fertilizers generated by these plants will be provided to rural areas for usage in agriculture.

"This is a part of a two-way strategy in which both urban as well as rural areas gain," Modi said while addressing Vibrant Gujarat's National Summit on Inclusive Urban Development.

"This will also stem the flow of migrants into urban areas as these steps will result in the long term development of rural areas," he said.

"This way even any future conflicts arising out of sharing of resources between urban and rural areas will be averted. The fertilizer, energy and reusable water generated out of this will also help in cutting the usage of expensive chemical fertilizers and help in promoting organic farming."

Modi further said that the subsidy provided to farmers to buy fertilizers and power can be used to fund similar projects or bridge finance the existing ones.

Taking a dig at the central government, Modi said he had suggested the same model to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which he thought could have been implemented in around 500 cities across India.

However, the plans never saw the light of the day. Modi said he will first implement them in his home state.

Modi said the waste management plants will be erected out of a 'PPPP' -- 'people public private partnership' -- model.

Modi said the Gujarat government will work with Japanese agencies for development of some of these plants by utilising cutting edge technology from Japan.

Modi said the country should give up pessimistic mindset and look at urbanisation as an opportunity in which new infrastructure, employment and energy and water efficient based cities can be developed.

"We have to think of it (urbanisation) not as a challenge but an opportunity. We have to develop policy, solutions and ideas for the urbanisation of the future," Modi said.

"For this we would require institutions to impart proper training to our manpower, new technologies that will make governance, policing and other essential services being easily delivered to people."

Modi added that more technically trained staff was required to run the civic operations in cities.

"We required engineers and trained manpower, and slowly we started to engage more of these category of workforce in our civic bodies which resulted in better delivery of services to people."

In recent years, Gujarat has taken steps to develop urban amenities such as bus rapid transport (BRT) systems in various cities, urban poor housing colonies and water supply infrastructure.

The state has plans to develop the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), river and lake front development for tourism promotion and employment generation, and making a urban social security net.

The day-long meet draw thousands of crowds, urban planning experts, administrators and city municipal corporation staff from Japan, Bhutan, Colombia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka besides 132 Indian cities.

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at rohit.v@ians.in)

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