New Urban Development Minister stresses on meeting targets

United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Erik Solheim congratulated Hardeep Puri as he took oath as a minister in the Indian government. Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), the government targets construction of about 1.2 crore houses by 2022.

He holds independent charge of the Ministry.

The 65-year-old, who took oath as a Minister of State, has served as India’s Ambassador to the United Nations in NY and Geneva, and with his decades of diplomatic experience, his presence in the Council would be a rarity. He noted the HUA ministry is a “hardcore development- oriented ministry” and various new urban missions launched over the last three years have been “doing well” on ground.

On meeting the 2019 deadline set for most schemes of his ministry, he said, “Instead of two years, if work doesn’t have to happen it can take six years, and if it has to happen it can get done in six months”. “I have no doubt, we are on way to accomplishing the tasks in the given time line”, he said.

To a query over Modi inducting people with proven administrative abilities in his new team, he said “if you see, they are not only bureaucrats but they also come with experience in their respective will prove to be good”.

Shri Puri will be attending the inauguration of first phase of 8.50 km stretch of Lucknow Metro between Transport Nagar and Charbagh tomorrow.

Puri was among the nine new Ministers of State sworn in by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Unlike other ministers, this 1974-batch Indian Foreign Service officer has reportedly said that he would talk to media only after understanding the issues threadbare.

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