A FRENCH delegation on urban infrastructure development, led by Francois Richier, Ambassador of France to India, visited Chandigarh on Monday. During the visit, it was decided that India and France would cooperate and work together in making Chandigarh a smart city.
It was also decided that France would help in the upgradation of railway tracks between New Delhi and Chandigarh. The visit of the French delegation is an outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France in April this year.
The French delegation agreed to provide technical assistance in certain listed areas for preparation of viable projects. It was decided that representatives of the French companies in these areas would contact the respective heads of departments in the Chandigarh Administration to prepare projects. “The cooperation will not only limit itself to provision of technical assistance but will also extend to providing loans etc to the Government of India for implementation of viable projects,” said Francois Richier.
“The France and Chandigarh Administration will cooperate with each other in this new leap of converting garden city, Chandigarh, into a smart city,” he added. The two administrations also decided to work together to conserve heritage sites in the city.
The delegation held a meeting at the UT Guest House on Monday, under the chairmanship of UT Adviser Vijay Kumar Dev. The meet focused on areas relating to urban development, renewable energy, urban security, smart cities and urban transport. After the meeting, the French delegation headed to the valedictory function of international symposium on Le Corbusier, which was organised by the UT Tourism Department, to mark the 50th death anniversary of the master architect of Chandigarh.
Water supply system
After detailed discussions, the French delegation agreed to offer assistance in implementing smart solutions for reducing non-revenue and unaccounted water in Chandigarh. They also agreed on helping the city achieve a 24X7 water supply, along with distribution of tertiary water for conservation of available water.
Management of waste
The French delegation also offered to help Chandigarh in improving the sewage processing and treatment facilities by introducing newer technologies. Deliberations were also held for scientific management of solid waste disposal in the city to prevent ill-effects on the environment.
The delegation stressed creating an intelligent public transportation system in the city, and explored possibilities of alternatives to provide a sustainable public transportation system in Chandigarh. Suggestions to fast-track the implementation of metros in the city were also put forward, as the delegation offered to help the city with newer technologies for the same.
Urban security and traffic management system
“There is a need for a smart traffic management system in Chandigarh to ensure security and to solve the problem of parking. We also need to work towards improvement of the public infrastructure in the city,” Francois Richier said. The delegation suggested that provision of surveillance solutions like CCTVs with face detection and number plate reading solutions could help in better management of traffic.
During the day, sectoral meetings with the officials of the administration were also organised at the UT Guest House on various issues: urban transport (with the Transport Department regarding intelligent bus system, ropeways and integrated plan with the city tram way integration), urban security (with the Police Department & Home Department officials regarding surveillance solutions and computerised department) and street furniture.