Source: Economic Times

PM Narendra Modi’s project of building 100 smart cities could get a boost with a template readied by the European Union for making Indian cities more liveable, sustainable and energy efficient. Cooperation in the smart cities project between India and the 28-nation grouping, the country’s largest trading partner, is likely to be discussed at the India-EU summit later this year in Brussels.

The EU, which has been working with Maharashtra on making Mumbai a smart city, brings with it a range of expertise from its member states to make Indian cities more liveable amid growing population pressure on these cities, the EU Ambassador to India Joao Cravinho told ET.

Although the EU has been working with the Maharashtra government since 2012 on making India’s financial capital smart, the Modi government’s flagship programme has given a new momentum to the concept, said Cravinho. He added that the EU could offer to other Indian cities the template that it has offered to Mumbai.

“Pre-planning and subsequently planning are imperative to make any city liveable and sustainable. The advantage for EU is that it can offer suggestions in a wide array of areas drawing from expertise of Eastern Europe to Central Europe to Western Europe,” said Cravinho. The EU will hold a mega meet on smart city concept for Mumbai later this month.

Cravinho said that the EU can assist India in heritage conservation, which can also help generate revenues for the government.

The European states, which have experience in cleaning of rivers like Rhine, are also ready for sharing their expertise to clean the Ganga and other rivers of the country, and suggest ideas to generate revenue from waterways.