NEW DELHI: Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today assured a visiting US delegation that Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) being set up for implementation of Smart City plans will be empowered to ensure timely execution of all projects by taking required decisions and ensuring necessary coordination.
He also said urban local bodies of 20 cities selected in the first round of City Challenge Competition have passed resolutions to this effect and SPVs will play a crucial role in successful implementation of smart city plans.
A 20¬member US business delegation led by Bruce Andrews, Deputy Secretary, US Department of Commerce held detailed discussions with Naidu and senior officials of his ministry on various aspects of implementation of Smart City Plans and investment opportunities therein.
Lee Zak, Director, US Trade Development Agency and senior representatives of 18 US companies participated in the hour long discussion. The companies represented include EXIM Bank of the US, Alcoa, Convalt Energy, Master Card, Qualcom, Turner Project Manufacturing, Ecolab and Smart City Council of the US, according to a release.
Andrews said, "India offers tremendous opportunities for American companies. The Smart Cities Trade Mission is keen to learn more about the market and new business opportunities. By creating a forum to explore avenues for collaboration, the mission fosters commercial engagement between the two countries."
Responding to the queries of the visiting delegation, Naidu said the American companies can look at joint ventures, formation of subsidiaries, delivering turnkey projects and PPP model for investing in smart city development.
He further elaborated on sustainability features like water conservation and waste water recycling, solar power generation, energy efficiency measures, green construction, recycling of municipal solid waste, offering immense investment opportunities.
A delegation from the Indo¬UK Institute of Health also called on Naidu to explore the opportunities for setting up hospitals in smart cities being developed in pursuance of joint statement by Modi and his British counterpart David Cameron in London in November last year.
The two leaders agreed to support opening of 11 Indo¬UK Institutes of Health in India with an investment of one billion pounds.
Agreeing to extend full cooperation, Naidu informed the delegation that promotion of affordable healthcare services is one of the key objectives of Smart City Mission.
He said that Pune civic body proposed to build 3 new super speciality hospitals and all cities are keen to promote digital healthcare services.
Source: Economic Times