France to Help Bangalore Tackle Civic Woes
By Express News Service | Published: 25th January 2014 08:06 AM |
French companies have come forward to join hands with the state government to solve the challenges of urban transport, water and waste management that bedevil Bangalore.
A delegation of 17 chief executives of top French companies, led by French ambassador to India, Francois Richier, and Special Representative for Economic Relations with India, Paul Hermelin, met Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to discuss potential areas for cooperation.
“By this summer, we can expect some outcome from this visit. French companies will offer solutions to challenges on urban transportation system, environment (waste and water) system and overall integrated systems,” Hermelin told a press conference here on Thursday.
“We are here to give our solutions as we have learnt from our mistakes in planning our cities in the 1960s and 1970s. We don’t want Bangalore to make the same mistakes while expanding,” he said, while stressing the need for satellite cities around Bangalore. Companies such as Alstom Transport, Suez (environment and transport) and Veolia are expected to play important roles in some of these projects in the pipeline, Hermelin said.
“Our meeting with the chief secretary was interesting as we discussed the requirement and allocation of land for the Mumbai-Bangalore corridor and a possible corridor between Bangalore and Mysore,” he said. Mukherjee told the delegation that there is a need to solve the traffic bottlenecks en route Mysore. “He presented the problem. France is known for high-speed rail links, so our companies will give an appropriate solution,” Hermelin said.
Projects for Bangalore will also find financial support from the Agence Française de Développement, a French public finance institution.
On Wednesday, Ambassador Richier and Hermelin met Governor H R Bhardwaj and visited the Indian Institute of Science, where an Indo-French Cell of Water Sciences has been functioning since 2001.
On Thursday, the delegation met ISRO chairperson K Radhakrishnan to exchange views.