MUMBAI: Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy today said the country was “far, far away” from realising the ambition of developing smart cities, a flagship programme of the Narendra Modi government.
“Since we are far, far away from smart cities, I did not talk about it,” Mr Murthy said, when asked why he did not mention the smart city project during his lecture on ‘City Systems’ in Mumbai today.
“I am a doer, I am not just a talker,” he said and asked the audience to visit Infosys’s campus in Mysore to have a taste of what a smart city can be.
Earlier in the lecture, organised by JSW Literature Live, Mr Murthy also came down heavily on the lack of infrastructure in cities.
“Poor infrastructure can drive away investments and talent,” he said and pointed out how Mumbai has suffered due to this continued neglect.
“10 or 12 years ago, the desire was to position Mumbai as the Asian financial centre. We are nowhere near that dream for the very simple reason that investments are not coming in, talents are not simply available, productivity has gone down and growth has slowed down.
“We are still placing band-aids when there is a deeper cancer to be cured,” he said.
The government should not compare our cities with those in the developed world, but should look at the emerging market peers like Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia which are taking great efforts to make cities better, Mr Murthy said.