In a first, Chandigarh and Nottingham are set to become “sister-cities” or “twin towns”. A draft agreement with Nottingham city council regarding the same has been sent to the Ministry of External Affairs by the UT administration for approval.
Once the agreement is approved, the City Beautiful and the Central England city will be collaborating in all aspects — in the field of education, research, transport, architecture, sports among others. Confirming the development, UT Adviser Manoj Parida said, “The file of this sister-cities agreement has been sent to the Government of India.”
The draft proposal, accessed by the Chandigarh Newsline, stated that Nottingham is known for its sports activities and has good sports grounds. Also, in the field of art and architecture, the city has the hilltop Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery that has been rebuilt many times since the medieval era.
“This will help in replicating the same in Chandigarh, which also has heritage as French architect Le Corbusier had designed the city. It will give a major boost to the technology sector as well,” said another senior officer. Nottingham was named the ‘City of Literature’ by UNESCO in 2015 for its literary heritage.
In the draft proposal, it was specified that different kinds of exchange programmes and research between the two cities can be facilitated once they become ‘sister-cities’. Nottingham is home to two major universities as well — University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University. Once the agreement is approved, it will give an impetus to Chandigarh.
The agreement also specifies that it will be helpful in replicating moves in the field of transport as well. Nottingham is said to have one of the best public transport systems including the largest public-owned bus network and the Nottingham Express Transit tram system.
Sources said that the UT Adviser and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Chandigarh Smart City Limited K K Yadav, who is also the commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, are likely to visit Nottingham soon.
Chandigarh is already being assisted by France in the Smart City project, but this will be the first to have an agreement. The city has also sought financial assistance (loan) of Rs 550 crore from a French development bank for its 24×7 water supply project.