French Connection: France to help Chandigarh go ‘smart’

Ambassador of France Francois Richier (left) with Vijay Dev, the adviser to the UT administrator, in Chandigarh
Ambassador of France Francois Richier (left) with Vijay Dev, the Adviser to the UT Administrator, in Chandigarh

By Priya Yadav, Elets News Network (ENN)

The City Beautiful’s alliance with France is set to get stronger with the European country offering to help the UT Administration make the city, a creation of French architect Le Corbusier, a smart city. France will help Chandigarh upgrade its railway tracks between New Delhi and the city, implement smart solutions for reducing unaccounted water, ensure 24X7 water supply, improve the sewage processing and treatment facilities and create an intelligent transport system in the city.

The collaboration is an outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France early this year when the matter was taken up. A delegation led by Francois Richier, Ambassador of France to India, met officials of the Chandigarh Administration and promised assistance in every respect.

“The cooperation will not only limit itself to provision of technical assistance but will also extend to providing loans etc., to the Government of India for implementation of viable projects,” said Richier.

“France and the Chandigarh Administration will cooperate with each other in this new leap of converting the Garden City, Chandigarh, into a smart city,” he added. It has also been decided that the two administrations would work together to conserve heritage sites in the city.

France will make available newer technologies to Chandigarh to treat its water and scientifically dispose of solid waste that would be environment friendly as well.

“There is a need for a smart traffic management system in Chandigarh to ensure security and to solve the problem of parking. We also need to work towards improvement of the public infrastructure in the city,” the Ambassador said.

Suggestions that came up during initial discussions focussed on solutions like CCTVs with face detection and number plate reading devices that could aid in better management of traffic. Several meetings were held with the officials of the administration, especially with the Transport Department for putting in place an intelligent bus system, ropeways and plan for integration of city tram way.

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