Pact to develop township on Shimla’s outskirts

Shimla, Sep 8 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh on Thursday signed a preliminary pact with Singapore for developing a smart integrated township on the outskirts of Shimla town to decongest it, Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma said.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between state-run Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) and Asian Pacific Singapore Enterprise here.

The minister said the development of the integrated township at Jathiadevi near the Jubbarhatti airport, some 20 km from here, is an ambitious project which would go a long way in decongesting this highly populated city.

An official statement quoting the minister said there has been 10-fold increase in the population of Shimla that has resulted in congestion and over utilisation of infrastructure.

Initially, Shimla was developed by the British colonial rulers for 25,000 people.

“This is high time for development of a smart integrated township outside the city having state-of-art social, physical, institutional and economic infrastructure,” he said.

He said HIMUDA has acquired 32 hectares of land for developing the township at Jathiadevi, which is connected by three national highways.

The state would utilise the expertise of Singapore which has huge experience in urban planning.

“The preliminary pact was signed for this project which will be expanded soon after detailed discussions between the two governments. The state is also looking forward to explore possibilities for expanding it for more housing projects in the state as well,” the minister said.

Sharma said with a view to enhance the quality of life of the citizens and ensure social inclusion, boosting economic and environmental impact, the state government was working towards developing smart integrated townships with futuristic planning apart from modernising and rejuvenating the existing mid-sized cities.

Asian Pacific Singapore Enterprise Director Kevin Chong said the new township would be developed smartly in a cost effective manner.

–IANS

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