While 20 cities will be selected this month, 40 each will be get the nod in the next two years.


NEW DELHI, January 25: Chandigarh, Puducherry and Nagpur will be developed as 'Smart Cities' with the help of France which today affirmed its commitment to India's ambitious plans for clean and sustainable development. In this regard, French Development Agency has signed memoranda of understanding with the Union Territory of Chandigarh, Union Territory of Puducherry and the Maharashtra government (for Nagpur). A Joint Statement issued here today after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande said "the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate towards clean and sustainable development and reaffirmed their valuable partnership in India's ambitious plans to develop Smart Cities. In this spirit, the two leaders welcomed the three MoUs signed and the proposed collaboration between AFD (French Agency for Development) and the government of India for financing projects related to urban water and sanitation in Puducherry. They also welcomed the partnerships between Engineering Projects India Limited (EPI) and nine French companies which will be able to contribute to major infrastructures projects in India, the Joint Statement said. According to Smart City Mission, a mega scheme of the the Modi government, 100 cities across the country will be developed as Smart Cities. Improved basic amenities, environment-friendly transportation system, e-governance are some of the essential features of the Smarty City to be developed by the states with central help. While 20 cities will be selected this month, 40 each will be get the nod in the next two years. The two leadrers also expressed satisfaction on the progress of a number of initiatives undertaken by Indian and French institutes to promote and preserve cultural heritage and enhance cultural cooperation between the two countries. -PTI