New Delhi to go the “Smart City’ way. Spain to partner

A nine member delegation from Spain, led by Spanish Minister of State for Trade Jaime Garcia-Legaz Ponce had a detailed meeting with the Indian authorities, during the week gone by, to discuss the creation of Delhi into a ‘Smart city’ with the help & assistance of experts from Spain. The Indian minister for Urban development Mr. M Venkaiah Naidu later confirmed that they two delegations have reached an understanding the this effect.

This is further to the confirmation of participation of the US experts for the development of Allahabad, Ajmer & Vishakhpatnam. Germany too has shown interest to contribute.

Ramesh Menon of Certes, an expert on the smart cities avers that “this latest move makes ample sense to both sides, considering the relative slow down in the European economy, and the Indian apetite for investments yielding higher returns.”

The Spanish Ambassador in India, Gustavo de Aristegui Gonzalez said that it was an ‘exciting opportunity’ for his country to strengthen bilateral co-operation. The MoU between the two entities would initiate special focus for evolving the Delhi master plan for a ‘Smarter Delhi’.

Mr. Balvinder Kumar, IAS, the VC-DDA has already confirmed that the DDA has identified the land parcels to develop a greenfield smart city, wherein Madrid would lend technical expertise. It may also be recalled that the DDA has floated an RFP in the preceding months seeking an advisor to DDA to solicit foreign expertise. According to Mr. Naidu the UD minister, post the formulation of the master plan, Pan city & regional plans would be undertaken by the Spanish agencies.

Ramesh Menon also mentioned that a French delegation, including Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Sustainable Development & Energy Minister Segolene Royal also visited the city for consultations with Indian authorities. Their areas of interest seems the clean energy initiative & sustainable development. They would also contribute towards the development of smart cities & transportation infrastructure.

Nancy Singh
09th February’ 2015

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