Areas in urban infrastructure development – transport, waste and water management and integration of central and satellite areas – were seen as potential areas of investment by a delegation of CEOs from France during a two-day visit to Bangalore, led by Ambassador of France to India François Richer.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, French Government’s Special Representative for Economic Relations with India, Paul Hermelin, said their experience of managing the demands of a booming urban population could be harnessed in easing congestion and improving rail connectivity in cities like Bangalore and other towns of Karnataka.

The delegation met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee to discuss specific infrastructure bottlenecks such as the Bangalore-Mysore corridor. Mr. Hermelin said the French expertise in high speed rail transport could offer a potential solution.

He said the French had made mistakes while building their cities post World War II and subsequently learnt their lessons. “Bangalore need not make the same mistakes that we made,” he said.

“This was a visit aimed at understanding the needs of the market here and it might result in some concrete projects taking shape by summer,” Mr. Hermelin said.

The delegation also met Indian Space Research Organisation chairman K Radhakrishnan ahead of the 50th anniversary of Indo-French space cooperation this year. It also met Governor H.R. Bhardwaj.

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