New Delhi– Union urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said that Rs 1.34 lakh crore have been approved for the Smart City plan encompassing0 60 cities, but stressed their development won’t happen overnight.

“Around Rs 1.34 lakh crore have been approved on the smart city plan for 60 cities but these smart cities cannot be built overnight. I am not a magician. They need five years, 10 years or even 15 years to be developed.

“Smart doesn’t mean fashion, it means vision, execution and action. Fortunately, there is no dearth of ideas. The younger generation has out of the box ideas. If they are given a proper mentoring, they will excel.

M. Venkaiah Naidu

“Around Rs 77,000 crore investment has been approved for urban transformation. For the construction of 17.6 lakh affordable houses, an investment of over Rs 95,000 crore has also been approved,” he said at the International Mentoring Summit — “Mentoring Grassroots Entrepreneurs in Smart Grams for Inclusive Growth” organised on the occasion of Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) Silver Jubilee.

BYST is a non-profit organisation, established in 1992 to help disadvantaged Indian youth to develop their business ideas into viable enterprises.

“Mentoring is a part of our Indian culture. Our forefathers used to mentor the next generation. This tradition is our strength. Growth of a nation depends on entrepreneurial activities,” Naidu said.

Emphasising that the young entrepreneurs in India are making several breakthroughs and giving birth to new businesses, he noted: “New generation also includes technology and skills. Today, the aspirational youth doesn’t only have substance but also have the passion to build career and earn respect in the society.”

He further added that there is a new hunger and new thirst in the present generation for development. “Indian youth bestowed with talent, they just have to be given enough opportunities and they will excel.

“We should encourage women in a big way. You have to think in terms of women economic empowerment also,” Naidu said, adding: “Women have always been given due respect in Puranas, Upnishads. They deserve the same today. Mentoring can help them rise.” (IANS)