CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu is likely to get three of the proposed 100 smart cities initiative by Union government that has already sparked a global interest with countries queuing up to be part of the initiative, according to Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu.
Naidu, who was speaking during the final consultative meeting on smart cities organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry here on Thursday, however, didn’t give the list of cities in Tamil Nadu which would be developed into a smart city.
“We are holding a two-day workshop in New Delhi in which housing secretaries of all States and Union Territories would be participating. A concept note as well as detailed framework would be worked out. Besides, identification of the cities would also be done during the workshop,” Naidu said.
The state housing secretary, member secretary of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and director of town and country planning are also supposed to attend the conference.
Talking about the global interest the initiative by the Modi government has sparked, Naidu said that the government has signed memorandum of understanding with the US Trade and Development Agency to develop Visakhapatnam, Allahabad and Ajmer. In addition, Germany is evincing interest to associate itself with development of three more cities.
“Japan, the UK, Sweden, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and The Netherlands are also keen to partner with India. In total, we have about 12 countries that have shown keen interest in this project,” said Naidu.
The minister also said that the Centre is planning to come out with a new initiative called ‘City Challenge’ to evaluate cities and towns on the basis of credit worthiness as well as sanitation.
The smart cities initiative has already attracted developers. Chitty Babu, chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry Tamil Nadu conference on smart cities, said that the proposal of building a smart city by JICA has resulted in land prices in the area going skywards.
Babu also said that the smart cities’ initiative would result in tie-up between Indian and international developers. “The international developer would be investing money and technology but it will be the Indian developer who would be building the cities,” he added.