Spain has proposed to assist in developing Delhi as the first global and smart city in India under the framework of this draft MoU. Spain’s foreign affairs minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo met urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu and presented a draft plan and memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop smart cities in India with Delhi as the hub city.
Countries like China, Singapore, Japan, France, Germany and Canada have already evinced keen interest in partnership for specific theme-based smart cities development.
The proposed memorandum of understanding between India and Spain was a follow up to meetings between the urban development minister and Spain’s secretary of state for trade Jamie Garcia Legaz in February this year.
An urban development ministry official said the proposed MoU would be examined by India before a final decision is taken on partnering with Spain while re-designing and developing Delhi, which is at the centre of the national capital region.
Spain has offered to bring in world class expertise in developing railways and metro networks, roads and ports, shipping, recycling waste, water management and promoting renewable energy sources to develop smart cities in India.
An official said Spain has moved swiftly to engage with India in a substantive way with five major delegations descending on Indian cities during last four months. “It’s after 42 years that Spain proposes to engage with India in a substantive way across sectors like smart cities, defence and trade apart from development areas” the official said.
During several of Modi’s visits abroad, major issue that was flagged during discussions with his counterparts and top business tycoons was development of 100 smart cities based on specific themes. In the first phase, the government proposes to develop 20-25 smart cities after having finalised the models, themes, designing and also partner countries or cities globally.