NATIONAL

Toulouse model planned for smart city project

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France later this week, Indian and French governments have spent some time identifying the possible city France could help develop as a smart city in India. Part of Mr Modi’s 100 smart cities project, Puducherry, formerly a French colony is the obvious choice for the project, given that French is still an official language there, while Chandigarh, India’s newest city was built by French architect Le Corbusier, and is the other strong contender.

The plan for smart cities that was announced within weeks of his government being sworn in last May, is awaiting the Ministry of Urban Development’s “blueprint”.

Mr. Modi will begin his state visit in Paris on Friday, and after the ceremonial welcome, will meet with two sets of business groups from the infrastructure and defence sectors. He will be hosted at the National Assembly and meet political leaders before his bilateral meeting with President Hollande.

A plan for the two leaders to see the sights of Paris by a boat down the river Seine is still not confirmed, due to the possibility of rain, officials told The Hindu .

After his visit to Toulouse on Saturday, Mr Modi will fly to the town of Lille where he will pay respects to 9,000 Indian soldiers who died in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in the World War I. Mr Modi will return to Paris and meet with the Indian community, before he heads to the Hannover Industrial fair to promote the government’s other pet project, “Make in India.”

Recommended for you