New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday inaugurated a smart model village pilot project at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The President said in the last four years of his presidency this was the first time that he was having the privilege of interacting with several sarpanches and village-level functionaries at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He called it a landmark initiative to replicate the experience in transforming the President's estate into a smart model township in five selected villages in Haryana. He complimented and thanked all stakeholders -- the central ministries, the government of Haryana including district and village-level administration, local bodies and governmental and other organisations. Since assuming office, the President had been emphasising on the opening of Rashtrapati Bhavan to the people. "However, today he felt that Rashtrapati Bhavan had been truly opened to the public since the village representatives were present there," a release from Rashtrapati Bhavan stated. Expressing confidence that this initiative would not remain confined to these five villages but spread to the entire country, the President said it is only the representatives of the villages who can transform this country. "Our progress and development can be achieved at the desirable speed only in partnership with these decision-makers in the villages," he said. Mukherjee also urged the empowerment of women and youth. The five villages which will be developed into smart villages under this pilot project are Dhaula, Alipur, Harichandpur and Taj Nagar in Gurgaon district; and Rojka Meo in Mewat district of Haryana. The President had announced this pilot project on the occasion of the inauguration of the Intelligent Operations Centre (IOC) at Rashtrapati Bhavan and the launching of a Mobile App 'Monitor' for transformation of President's Estate into a smart township on May 19.