Germany to help make Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Kochi smart cities

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) Germany will partner India in turning Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore and Kochi into smart cities, it was announced on Monday.

“Germany wants to support the ambitious Smart Cities programme of India,” State Secretary in the German ministry of environment, nature conservation, building and nuclear safety, Gunther Adler, said at a media briefing here.

“Here the German building ministry also supports German companies that want to cooperate intensively with Indian partners in order to assist Indian cities in implementing their plan,” he said.

He said urbanisation went hand in hand with the requirement of residential housing, water supply and waste water management.

“This has been taken up by the Indian government by launching 100 smart cities programme which we are ready to support,” Adler said.

He said the Indian government last year invited Germany to be a partner in its Smart Cities programme.

“Cooperation has been announced in the cities of Bhubaneswar, Kochi and Coimbatore. These are among the first cities of the 100 smart cities chosen,” he said.

Adler, who is on a two-day visit to India, made the announcement at the second meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Urban Development,a new forum initiated in 2015.

Adler also met Madhusudan Prasad, secretary in the urban development ministry and Nandita Chatterjee, secretary in the housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry.

He also met representatives of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

German Ambassador to India Martin Ney said that Germany was an ideal partner in India’s endeavour to create smarter cities.

“We are very strong at smart planning for urban centres. We have developed the technologies to make life in cities easier,” he said.

“We have developed the processes to bring on board the stakeholders to make cities thrive, and German companies have developed smart solutions to to make smart cities.”

India is the biggest partner of Germany’s development cooperation programme worldwide.

In 2015, this collaboration reached a new record level of 1.5 billion euros (Rs.11,000 crore).

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