“The special purpose vehicle (SPV), for the smart city project will be formed after the elections. We will hold meetings with the German delegates and decide on further course of action,” K Vijayakarthikeyan, City Corporation Commissioner, Coimbatore, said.
Earlier, reports were there that Germany would partner with India to develop Coimbatore, Kochi and Bhubaneswar as smart cities. The three cities are already included in the Centre’s top 20 cities list, announced by Urban Development Ministry in January this year, which are to be developed as smart cities.
“We had been offered assistance by various countries including Singapore, USA, Australia and Belgium. It has become easier for us now as the government has decided to rope in Germany to lend technological expertise,” said a senior corporation official.
For senior urban planners find it a great opportunity. “Germany was in favour of assisting the cities putting more emphasis on environment-friendly projects. Since our project included setting up of a non-motorised corridor and protection of city lakes, Germany was to keen to play a role in it,” said a city-based urban planner.
“We can use their expertise in upgrading waste-water treatment, integrated computer technology solutions and equipment. Also, in the construction sector, Germany has a pre-cast concrete technology, which is extremely good, affordable and eco-friendly. Not only technology sharing but knowledge transfer will also play a vital role,” said an architect.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chancellor of Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel had agreed to cooperate on the smart city initiative. Based on this, Germany had set up a six-member joint committee with India to identify the cities to be rendered its assistance. The committee had two representatives of urban development ministry, one from the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation, and three from Germany. After two consultations, one held in Berlin on September last and another in New Delhi in March, the panel selected the three of the 20 shortlisted cities to assist them in their projects.