PUDUCHERRY: Puducherry government is mulling to de-link Puducherry from the Smart City project of the Government of India (GOI) and instead seek the assistance of France for the purpose.
“We are planning to develop the city independently through bilateral ties with France and not as part of the Smart City project,” Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar Parida said. There are several requirements that Puducherry has to fulfil in the Smart City project, especially the requirement of Municipal Councillors by conducting the local body elections. Besides, there are several procedures to be followed, including the preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR), getting approval and sanction of funds. The government is considering moving an alternate proposal for developing Puducherry as a smart city after preparation of a project plan along with the French government and experts from France, said Parida. Since the French government has shown keen interest in the development of Puducherry as a Smart City and also offering finance, this would be explored. An expert committee (Special Purpose Vehicle) is being constituted in which representatives from France, NGOs and other experts would be included along with government representatives to draft the plan.
French Ambassador to India François Richier is scheduled to visit Puducherry in September along with several experts and industrial representatives when the discussion on Smart City project will be taken up, said Lok Sabha Member R Radhakrishnan, who is actively pursuing the project on behalf of the government.
“We are committed to provide all necessary assistance in the form that suits Puducherry for the Smart City project to succeed. People here can see their city become the best possible one offering a high quality life,” French Consul General Philippe Janvier Kamiyama said during his address on the occasion of French National day celebrations at Consulate. France is ready to provide its best technological solutions and share its expertise for integrated sustainable cities, he said.