Smart cities: Singapore says ball in India’s court

Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu also held discussions with the government here to develop the new capital of his state.

Written by Santosh Singh | Singapore | Published: November 15, 2014 1:51:25 am

Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli on Friday said his government was keen to develop smart cities in India and was waiting for a detailed project report from the Narendra Modi government after “primary-level government to government talks” to take things forward.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who was in Singapore on a three-day trip that concluded Thursday, also held discussions with the government here to develop the new capital of his state.

Talking to journalists, Zulkifli said, “India is beginning to remember how powerful they were. Any superpower is hungry for development. Manmohan Singh had also shown intent towards smart cities but later got engaged in domestic issues. Under Modi, it looks like India is on cusp of breaking through barriers.”

Modi, who has expressed his intention to change his “Look East Policy” to “Act East Policy”, met Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong in Myanmar on Wednesday and was invited to attend the country’s 50th Independence Day celebrations next year. Modi also discussed expanding tourism and urban development with his Singapore counterpart as well as plans to develop a digital maritime museum in India.

“We have fantastic relationships with whoever runs India, but the good thing about real India is that at times it is too real,” said the minister, hinting at the socio-economic and legal hurdles that have prevented projects from moving fast in the past. He said smart cities were “economically sound projects but had social issues such as matters of displacement, resettlement and land compensation”.

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