Cabinet nod for agreements with four nations for urban development

New Delhi,   The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the agreements inked by India with four European countries — France, United Kingdom, Denmark and Netherlands — on sustainable urban development as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet ‘Smart Cities’ project.

For each of the four agreements, a Joint Working Group will be set up to strategise and implement programmes on cooperation under the MoU framework. The group will meet once a year, alternately in India and the partnering country.

The agreements aim to promote technical cooperation in the areas of sustainable smart cities development, waste management, affordable housing, intelligent transport systems, research and development, spatial planning and mobility management, the Cabinet note said.

The official statements on the four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), signed in March and April, said the deals would help create employment in the areas of smart cities development and related areas mutually agreed upon with each of the four countries.

“The objectives of the agreements are to promote technical cooperation in smart cities development, development of urban mass transportation systems, urban settlements and utilities (water supply and sewerage), disposal and treatment of solid waste,” said the Cabinet note on MoU with France for five-year period.

Other areas of cooperation are related to landfills, management of non-revenue water, water recycling, technology transfer, conservation of fresh water by artificial recharge of aquifers, circular economy, mass and green housing, urban planning, heritage, human resource development and capacity building.

The MoUs with UK and Denmark are similar in terms of areas of technical cooperation in the field of sustainable and smart urban development. With UK, the areas of cooperation includes skill development, urban mobility and innovative access to finance.

With Denmark, the deal is aimed to promote institutional cooperation, research and development, and commercial relations on related issues. And, the areas of cooperation include re-development and land use, energy efficiency and resource mobilization

India and Netherlands will cooperate in spatial planning, water management and mobility management on the basis of equivalence, smart city development, heritage conservation, geographical information system for water supply and sewerage, among others.

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