French President Francois Hollande to begin India tour from Chandigarh

Hollande is the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day parade in New Delhi.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published:January 12, 2016 10:28 am
Hollande, Hollande in India, Hollande Chandigarh, Chandigarh news, Hollande republic Day, Republic Day chief guest, France news, India news President Hollande’s flight will land in Chandigarh International Airport directly from France. (Reuters/File)

French President Francois Hollande is expected to arrive in Chandigarh on January 24 before attending the Republic Day’s parade in New Delhi.

Hollande is the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day parade in New Delhi. UT adviser Vijay Dev said according to information, President Hollande’s flight will land in Chandigarh International Airport directly from France.

Terming it as a historic visit to the City Beautiful, Dev said it will be after 50 years that a French president would visit the city. “Chandigarh has earned a reputation of being a world-class city across the world and the French president will get the best of the city,” said Dev.

Chandigarh, which is the first planned city in India after the country got independence in 1947, is known across the world for its architecture and urban design. The city was planned by French architect Le Corbusier. Hollande has expressed his desire to see Le Corbusier’s works.

Dev praised the efforts of the residents in Chandigarh in preserving the city. “The residents and citizens have worked hard to preserve the city designed by master architect Le Corbusier,” said Dev.

Home secretary takes stock of preparations

Home secretary Anurag Aggarwal on Monday visited all the places Hollande is expected to visit during his one-day visit to the city and took stock of the preparations.

Hollande is likely to visit the Capitol Complex in Sector 1; Tagore Theatre in Sector 18; Rock Garden in Sector 1, and Chandigarh Architecture Museum in Sector 10.

Aggarwal said the departments concerned have been asked to ensure that all these places are clean. Asked about Hollande’s visit, Aggarwal said though the administration is yet to receive the final programme, the French president is expected to leave for Delhi in the evening of January 24 .

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to receive Hollande at the airport. Directions have been issued to police to make elaborate security arrangements and ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the public.

MoU likely to be signed

During the visit, France is likely to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chandigarh for helping it develop as a smart city. Last year, France had committed to help three Indian cities — Chandigarh, Nagpur and Puducherry — to be developed as smart cities. Chandigarh is competing for making into the list of first 20 cities to be picked by the ministry of urban development for funding in year 2016-17 under the Smart City project.