BHUBANESWAR: The Capital City has got its first international partner - German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, for the Smart City project.
The partnership will focus on developing climate-resilient and low-carbon development plans, policies and investments suiting local needs. The vertical which is likely to be taken up in the first phase would be non-motorised transport (NMT), sources said.
Under the agreement between the German Ministry and Government of India, leading banking group KFW has assured financial assistance to Bhubaneswar in form of soft loans. The loans would range from 150-200 million Euros (`1200 - `1500 crore) at low interest rates and long repayment options.
“An international collaboration for the City which topped the Smart City race was very essential. And the German Ministry’s nod on Monday will give a new dimension to our Smart City plans and help implement these in a better way,” BDA Vice-Chairman Dr Krishan Kumar said.
A number of German cities has been recognised as ‘Smart’ and environment-friendly worldwide. Besides, the maiden town planning of the Temple City was done by German architect Otto H Konigsberger, Kumar said. Apart from financial assistance, major components of the pact would be technical collaboration, capacity building and exposure visits for officials and consultants directly associated with the Smart City project.
The stakeholders of the project will be imparted training on energy efficient plans for the City, sectors with significant energy savings potential and appropriate energy efficiency strategies.
The proposed special purpose vehicle (SPV) for Smart City project will adopt Swiss Challenge mechanism for all high-cost projects. While Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has already expressed keenness on Swiss Challenge method at Make In India meet in Mumbai last month, the BDA has decided to tap expertise and experience of the private sector in implementation of major projects in the Smart City plan.
Swiss challenge method is a new process of awarding contracts in which an interested bidder with credentials can submit a development proposal to authorities.
To avoid unsolicited proposals, bidders can propose project cost of not less than 10 per cent of the cost mentioned in the DPR. The SPV will assess and accept the best proposal.
Training at Singapore
Under the capacity building component of the MoU between State Government and Bernard van Leer Foundation for the Smart City project, a 30-member team will undergo a seven-day training at Centre for Livable Cities in Singapore.
The programme would focus on ideas to match smart cities across the world - aesthetics, infrastructure, livability, connectivity, e-governance and administration. The participants will get a global exposure on how to develop a smart, green and sustainable city.