Stressing on the need for sustainable urban development in the context of growing urbanization, Sweden and India have joined hands to cooperate in the implementation of new urban sector initiatives in India. Both the countries have agreed to identify specific projects for promoting viable urban development in India.
The decision was taken during a meeting, held between the visiting Swedish Minister of Housing, Urban Development and Information Technology Mehmet Kaplan and Minister of Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday.
Promotion of public transport, municipal waste management and digitalisation have been identified as priority areas for creation of smart cities and upgradation of basic infrastructure in Indian cities.
Notably, the Swedish Minister also offered his country’s assistance in production of bio-gas from solid and liquid municipal waste and its conversion to fuel for running vehicles. Kaplan inquired his Indian counterpart about urban planning processes in India and use of digital technologies for efficient use of resources and improving governance.
Naidu informed Swedish Minister that citizen consultation has been made mandatory for identification and prioritisation of projects and drawing up city level plans under Smart City and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), adding that ICT based Pan-city smart solutions have also been mandatory component of Smart City Mission with a view to improve urban governance besides providing public information to citizens, Intelligent Transport Systems, Tele-Medicine, improving efficiency of water and electricity use.
The Swedish Minister gave an account of urban development approaches being followed in his country for ensuring economic, ecological and social sustainability.