Countries line up to help India with smart cities
We will not thrust any ideas on States, says Venkaiah Naidu
As foreign countries line up to offer their expertise in ‘smart cities,’ India will next be looking at Barcelona to borrow best practices for its own model.
Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu has been invited by the Mayor of Barcelona to attend the Smart City World Conference to be held between November 18 and 20.
“Contrary to the perception that we are behind time in shaping the contours of the smart cities plan, we have a fair idea of what the smart cities are going to look like,” Mr. Naidu told The Hindu.
He said a broad framework is ready, and a meeting of all the stakeholders will be organised in the capital soon. Land and urban development being a State subject, the Centre will seek feedback from each State that has announced its intent to have smart cities. “We will not thrust any ideas on the States, their opinion will be taken, they will be asked to furnish their requirements about how many smart cities they want and with what features,” he said.
The Minister has already held discussions with officials from Singapore and Seoul on the smart cities project. Singapore has shown interest in partnering with India for the development of a new smart satellite city and a new capital for Andhra Pradesh. Netherlands and Canada too have offered their expertise and are willing to partner with India.
A delegation of 15 Canadian companies currently visiting India are also exploring commercial partnership opportunities in infrastructure development. The delegates represent companies offering innovative technology solutions and services in sectors such as water and waste water management, waste-to-energy, solar power, waterproofing, LED street lighting, intelligent transport systems, architecture and engineering.
India, Russia look to establish smart cities
India and Russia have agreed to proposals for establishing a smart city by Russian company AFK Sistema, manufacturing lighting equipment for general and special purposes in Karnataka and unrolling a group of telecommunication satellites “NextStar” on the geostationary orbit of the earth on the basis of a low budget platform.
These were among the decisions that were taken at the twentieth session of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation which met here on Wednesday.
The two sides also agreed to joint cooperation between National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and Russian company ACRON for developing potassium and magnesium deposits in the Talitsky mine in the Perm region in Russia and Partomchorr apatite-nepheline ore deposit in the Murmansk region.
Both sides also agreed to enhance bilateral trade through the International North South Corridor Project (INSTC) by freight forwarders and exporters particularly to bolster trade in agriculture and the food processing industry.