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SMART CITIES: Indian Delegation in Germany

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M. Venkaiah Naidu riding a German rickshaw in front of Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

Indian Minister for Urban Development Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu along with senior officials visit Germany….reports Asian Lite News

M. Venkaiah Naidu riding a German rickshaw in front of Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
M. Venkaiah Naidu riding a German rickshaw in front of Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

Mr Naidu was accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, comprising Dr. Sameer Sharma, Additional Secretary (Smart Cities) and CEOs of the three Indian cities which have been selected by Germany to support smart city projects, viz Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Mr Naidu  had a meeting with Dr. Barbara Hendricks, Germany’s Minister of Environment, Nature Conservation, Buildings and Nuclear Safety. The focus of the discussion was on further intensification of bilateral cooperation in the smart city projects.  He urged the German Government to encourage its industry to participate in the upcoming projects in the Indian smart cities.  He also suggested the German side to build up a successful pilot project, which could then be emulated in other cities. He  sought support of the German Government in developing workable financial models to encourage participation of more German companies in the smart city projects.

Naidu with Mrs Ulla Schmidt, Vice President of German Parliament and Mr Dirk Wiese, SPD MP and Member of Germany-India Parliamentary Group at the historic Reichstag Building
Naidu with Mrs Ulla Schmidt, Vice President of German Parliament and Mr Dirk Wiese, SPD MP and Member of Germany-India Parliamentary Group at the historic Reichstag Building

Mr Naidu also participated in the Metropolitan Solutions event, which is one of leading events on smart city themes in the world. The event was held with the objective of furthering cooperation between India and Germany in the urban development sector and promoting investments in the smart cities in India. Both Ministers jointly inaugurated a conference on: “Indo-German Collaboration on Sustainable Urban Development” at the Metropolitan Solutions event. In his address, the Hon’ble Minister highlighted the initiatives, policies and the developments taking place in the Indian Smart Cities Projects and encouraged potential investors from German industry to take part in the projects.

Mr Naidu held an exclusive meeting with leading German business enterprises who could mobilise desired infrastructure, technological and investment support into the Smart Cities.  Mr. Gunther Adler, State Secretary of the German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Buildings and Nuclear Safety, who is the Co-Chair of the Indo-German Joint Working Group on Sustainable Urban Development also attended this meeting.

Honorable Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Honorable Ambassador meeting Mr. Ralph Brinkhaus, CDU MP and Chairman of Germany-India Parliamentary Group with members of the Group Mr. Christian Hirte, MP from CDU and Ms Kathrin Vogler, MP from Left Party
Honorable Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Honorable Ambassador meeting Mr. Ralph Brinkhaus, CDU MP and Chairman of Germany-India Parliamentary Group with members of the Group Mr. Christian Hirte, MP from CDU and Ms Kathrin Vogler, MP from Left Party

During the visit, the Minister and the delegation held discussions with the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR), which is a research institution for urban development under German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Buildings and Nuclear Safety. BBSR has a collaboration with National Institute for Urban Affairs (NIUA).

The Minister and the delegation visited Berlin Traffic Management Centre which manages and operates all traffic control and information systems in Berlin on real time basis.  The visit offered a good opportunity for the delegation to understand the functioning of traffic management systems in a modern city like Berlin.

The Minister and the delegation also visited Berlin Transport Company (BVG), which is the main public transport company of Berlin and manages the city’s U-Bahn underground railway, trams, bus, replacement services and ferry networks. The interaction helped to understand the functioning of Mass Rapid Transport Systems in Berlin and how such similar systems could be developed across India.

In his capacity as the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, the minister held meetings with the Vice President of German Parliament Ms. Ulla Schmidt and also with the members of the Germany-India Parliamentary Group.

Naidu with Mrs Ulla Schmidt, Vice President of German Parliament and Mr Dirk Wiese, SPD MP and Member of Germany-India Parliamentary Group at the historic Reichstag Building
Naidu with Mrs Ulla Schmidt, Vice President of German Parliament and Mr Dirk Wiese, SPD MP and Member of Germany-India Parliamentary Group at the historic Reichstag Building

In these meetings, Mr Naidu  highlighted the Government of India’s efforts to improve the overall living conditions for the people of India and various measures initiated under the leadership Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi.  He briefly explained the initiatives like 100 Smart Cities Mission, AMRUT, Swachh Bharat, Clean Ganga etc. and sought support of the German Parliamentarians to enhance the momentum of ongoing bilateral engagement in these sectors. He also expressed keen interest in forging greater ties and regular exchanges between the Parliamentarians of the two countries.

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