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Maharashtra collaborates with Israel on Smart Cities

April 27, 2015 08:24 pm | Updated 08:27 pm IST - MUMBAI

Maharashtra “aspires to create sustainable and friendly urban spaces that integrate the use of technology, social media, community participation and e-governance to build smart cities of Maharashtra. Photo: Special Arrangement

Maharashtra “aspires to create sustainable and friendly urban spaces that integrate the use of technology, social media, community participation and e-governance to build smart cities of Maharashtra. Photo: Special Arrangement

Smart Cities in Maharashtra could very well end up looking as "smart" as Tel-Aviv, the capital of Israel. 

In a key stride in collaboration between the State and Israel, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai on Monday agreed to cooperate in building smart cities.

After the discussions held on Smart City partnership, the two parties-Maharashtra government and Municipality of Tel Aviv-agreed to discuss common challenges faced by modern cities and possible solutions. They would also explore the possibility of using Indian IT capabilities to increase efficiency of smart urban solutions.

On a four-day visit to the country, Mr. Fadnavis was briefed on the concept and implementation of the Smart City project in Tel Aviv, which was adjudged as the ‘World’s Smartest City’ at the Smart City Expo World Congress held in 2014.  Mr. Fadnavis held discussions with Mr. Huldai, besides meeting other experts and officials.

Maharashtra “aspires to create sustainable and friendly urban spaces that integrate the use of technology, social media, community participation and e-governance to build smart cities of Maharashtra like Nagpur, Mumbai, Amravati, Aurangabad and Nashik to a global standard,” the joint statement said.

In a wide-ranging discussion, the two sides agreed to cooperate and facilitate each other in “exchange of information and best practices,” particularly in Tel Aviv, in areas relating to “community outreach and participation through use of social media, open data; online municipal services; traffic and parking management through IT; security and emergencies.” Green construction and rational land use to create an appealing urban environment was also discussed. Stress was also given on promoting a Start-up City and youth entrepreneurship.

Mr. Huldai invited Maharashtra to send a delegation to the Tel Aviv Innovation Festival on September 7-8to understand the use of innovation in building Tel Aviv as a Smart City. Mr. Fadnavis, who later said the discussions were “fruitful,” agreed and in turn invited Mr. Huldai to Maharashtra to continue the discussions.

 

During his tour of Israel, Mr. Fadnavis, who has stressed on attracting investment to the State, will attend an exhibition on agricultural technology, Agritech Israel 2015,  and explore areas of co-operation including in emergency preparations and crises management technologies.  Agritech Israel 2015 is one of the world's most important exhibitions in the field of agricultural technologies.

Mr. Fadnavis is also scheduled to be a keynote speaker at a symposium on Indo-Israel collaboration on Make in India to attract investment to India’s most industrialized state.  He would also meet Israeli Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir, senior officials of various ministers, heads of leading IT companies and firms specializing in research.

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