Smart cities scheme to take off on June 25

India has asked all the countries keen on partnering it in the ‘smart cities’ initiative to ready the blueprints for the projects they want to undertake, to avoid delay in execution.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will announce the scheme along with the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation on June 25. So far, 14 countries have shown interest in sharing their expertise in building components that are prerequisites for a smart city.

One in every State

Sources said each State would be given a month to draw up a list of cities eligible for works under the scheme. Each State would have at least one smart city, with the bigger States being eligible for as many as 10. The total number across the country would be 100. “Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have signed agreements with the U.S. for non-financial assistance; some agreements have been inked with Sweden and China, but work will pick up by the end of July. Partnering countries, government agencies and private players will have to hit the ground running,” a government official told The Hindu.

Denmark is the latest to join the list of countries that have offered know-how, with emphasis on river cleaning, water, waste and transport management, and setting up IT services. On Thursday, Danish Ambassador to India Freddy Svane met Union Minister for Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu to discuss contributing to the initiative.

Referring to the international attention, Mr. Naidu said the proposal had generated excitement like no other project in recent times.

“Right now the level of enthusiasm both from within and outside corresponds with the huge resource requirement for building smart cities. The challenge is to convert this enthusiasm into concrete action. We are doing the needful to enable such conversion,” he added.

The 14 countries that have either signed up for various works or are in the process of finalising them are the U.S., Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, Israel, the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, South Africa and Australia. Also, 14 international organisations, including the World Bank, ADB, European Union, USAID, and UN Habitat have also offered support.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 2:46:05 PM |

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