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Indias Smart Cities Cooperation with Germany at the Centre Stage

Honble Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu visited Germany from May 31 to June 2,2016.He was accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, comprising Dr. Sameer Sharma, Additional Secretary (Smart Cities) andCEOs of the three Indian cities which have been selected by Germany to support smart city projects, vizBhubaneswar, Coimbatore and Kochi.
Honble Minister had a meeting with Dr. Barbara Hendricks, Germanys Minister of Environment, Nature Conservation, Buildings and Nuclear Safety. The focus of the discussion was on further intensification of bilateral cooperation in the smart city projects. He urged the German Government to encourage its industry to participate in the upcoming projects in the Indian smart cities. He also suggested the German side to build up a successful pilot project, which could then be emulated in other cities. Honble Ministersought support of the German Government in developing workable financial models to encourage participation of more German companies in the smart city projects.

Honble Minister also participated in the Metropolitan Solutions event, which is one of leading events on smart city themes inthe world. The event was held with the objective of furthering cooperation between India and Germany in the urban development sector and promoting investments in the smart cities in India.Both Ministers jointly inaugurated a conferenceon: Indo-German Collaboration on Sustainable Urban Development at the Metropolitan Solutions event. In his address, the Honble Minister highlighted the initiatives, policies and the developments taking place in the Indian Smart Cities Projects and encouraged potential investors from German industry to take part in the projects.

Honble Ministerheld an exclusive meeting with leading German business enterprises who could mobilise desired infrastructure, technological and investment support into the Smart Cities. Mr. Gunther Adler, State Secretary of the German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Buildings and Nuclear Safety,who is the Co-Chair of the Indo-German Joint Working Group on Sustainable Urban Development also attended this meeting.

During the visit, the Minister and the delegation held discussions with the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR), which is a research institution for urban development under German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Buildings and Nuclear Safety. BBSR has a collaboration with National Institute for Urban Affairs (NIUA).

The Minister and the delegation visited Berlin Traffic Management Centre which manages and operates all traffic control and information systems in Berlin on real time basis. The visit offered a good opportunity for the delegation to understand the functioning of traffic management systems in a modern city like Berlin.

The Minister and the delegation also visited Berlin Transport Company (BVG), which is the main public transport company of Berlinand manages the city's U-Bahn underground railway, trams, bus, replacement services and ferry networks. The interaction helped to understand the functioning of Mass Rapid Transport Systems in Berlin and how such similar systems could be developed across India.

In his capacity as the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Honble Minister held meetings with the Vice President of German Parliament Ms. Ulla Schmidt and also with the members of the Germany-India Parliamentary Group. In these meetings, the Honble Minister highlighted the Government of Indias efforts to improve the overall living conditions for the people of India and various measures initiated under the leadership of PM Shri Narendra Modi. He briefly explained the initiatives like 100 Smart Cities Mission, AMRUT, Swachh Bharat, Clean Ganga etc. and sought support of the German Parliamentarians to enhance the momentum of ongoing bilateral engagement in these sectors. He also expressed keen interest in forging greater ties and regular exchanges between the Parliamentarians of the two countries.
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