France pledges over 2 billion euros for Smart Cities project in India
NEW DELHI: France has committed to invest over 2 billion euros for Smart City projects in India with special focus on Chandigarh, Nagpur and Puducherry, French ambassador in India, François Richier, said.
Richier said there is also an investment of 200 million euros for the extension of Bangalore Metro. He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Towards Smart and Sustainable Cities’ organised by FICCI, Embassy of France in India and the Ministry of Urban Development.
Richier said that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited France in April, France had committed 600 million euros for ‘Smart Cities’ and projects related to sustainability, including in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Besides developing the smart cities, France was keen to develop heritage sites and tourism for the smart cities.
Durga Shanker Mishra, additional secretary, ministry of urban development said that France was actively partnering with India in its initiatives of developing 100 Smart Cities and AMRUT. The government was moving ahead on both the projects by engaging with the state governments and local bodies as their involvement would give an impetus to the projects.
He said that the urban population of India was growing at a rapid pace and by 2050 it was expected that 50% of the country’s population would be in residing in urban areas
Jyotsna Suri, president of FICCI said that under the smart cities mission, the government of India has emphasized the importance of cities with urban local bodies taking a lead. “This bottom up approach is an extremely progressive step which will positively help in proper planning and development of the cities. The Indian private sector also has a significant role to play in development of smart cities and industry seeks the government’s support to facilitate and encourage the private sector for contributing towards this initiative,” she said.