Upgrade urban space, offer better facilities: Jitendra Singh

Davos: Union Minister of State for Development of the Northeastern Region Jitendra Singh has stressed on upgradation of urban space and better facilities to people in view of several cities in the world being classified as “fragile” due to pollution, conflict, terrorism and unemployment.

The Minister’s remarks came at a panel discussion on “From Fragile Cities to Renewal” at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss town of Davos on Tuesday.

“More than 239 cities in the world were classified as fragile due to pollution, conflict, terrorism, unemployment and lack of electricity, besides other factors. What was needed, he said, was to upgrade the urban space and offer better facilities to the population,” an official statement said quoting Singh.

When asked to narrate his experience of fragile cities in the context of insurgency in the northeastern region of India, Singh said: “In the last three-and-a-half years of the Modi government, a lot of stability in the region has been established.

“Insurgency and “fragility” also have a correlation with lack of development and ineffective political leadership. Corruption not only leads to loss of moral authority of the state leadership but also causes a huge pilferage of the state exchequer, which would otherwise be gainfully utilised to address the fragility.”

Singh asserted that with the growing aspirations among the youth, which is a welcome development, there will always be a certain amount of fragility noticeable even in the ideal situations because fragility itself is a relative term and what was fragile yesterday may not be fragile today, and what is fragile today may not fragile tomorrow.

On the occasion, the Minister also said the world was looking for a new “global” roadmap with uniform parameters, in spite of the diversity and heterogeneity and that it might not be possible to easily visualise the local perspective in different countries because of their diverse characteristics.

Singh is accompanying Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar to Switzerland for participation in different sessions of the annual WEF event.