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Rs. 50,000 crore earmarked for 100 smart cities: Naidu

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ec.europa.eu

New Delhi: Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said that Rs.50,000 crore have been earmarked by the government to develop 100 smart cities in the country, adding that each selected city would get central assistance of Rs.100 crore per year for five years.

Venkaiah Naidu- Photo Credit: www.oneindia.com
Venkaiah Naidu- Photo Credit: www.oneindia.com

Naidu, the union urban development minister, was speaking at an international seminar on sustainable and inclusive urban development organized by NITI (National Institute for Transforming India) Aayog, the Institute for Human Development (IHD), and Department of Urban and Regional Planning of the University of Florida here.

“Special emphasis will be given to citizen participation while developing these smart cities. To recast the urban landscape of the country and make lives of urban people comfortable is the need of the hour.”

He added: “Sustainable and inclusive urban development is the main focus of the government and there is a need to go for reforms in a big way.”

“Good urban life also requires housing, office space, and good transportation. Biggest challenge in the country has been one of creating space for cities and availability of land,” NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya said at the event.

(IANS)

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First Hindu Temple Lays Foundation Stone in Abu Dhabi

The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said

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abu dhabi, hindu temple
The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. Wikimedia

The historic foundation stone-laying ceremony of the first traditional Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi was performed on Saturday in the presence of officials from India and the United Arab Emirates as well as thousands of members of the community.

The ceremony was presided over by Mahant Swami Maharaj — the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha — the organisation building the temple, along with other priests. Indian Ambassador Navdeep Suri attended the event in the presence of over 2,500 Indians from the UAE and across the world, according to Gulf News.

Suri and BAPS Hindu Mandir committee head and community leader B.R. Shetty were among those who laid foundation stones. Some 50 priests from India were part of the ceremony, the Khaleej Times reported.

Crown Prince, abu dhabi, hindu temple
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Wikimedia

UAE’s Minister of Climate Change Thani Al Zoyoudi and Ahmad Bilhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Sciences, were among the attendees.  The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said.

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The stones of the temple will be hand-carved by artisans in India and then transported to Abu Dhabi. Once completed, this will be the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East.

The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. (IANS)