NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Punjab government has resolved to transform its major municipal cities into environmental friendly and ICT enabled smart cities and asked the world known companies to provide solutions for building such cities in the state.
During his second day meetings at smart city expo world congress in Barcelona, Spain Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal held discussions with top management of reputed international companies and informed that several reforms and initiatives have already been implemented to improve infrastructure in major municipal cities of Punjab.
Participating in international smart city expo, Deputy Chief Minister invited reputed international companies to take advantage of investment opportunities in development of urban sector in the state. He added that since urbanization is a proven engine of economic growth, Union Government has also liberalized FDI norms in real estate and construction sector to involve MNCs in development activities.
Mr Badal held one to one meetings with top representatives IBM, Cisco and Oracle who have evinced interest to provide ICT solutions for smart cities and displayed their technological advances through power presentations to address the concerns about energy and water consumption, inclusive and sustainable urbanization, climate change and urban governance.
With the vision in mind Deputy CM asked the companies to provide solutions for building smart cities that would also have robust transport system, proper facilities for entertainment and safety and security including state-of-the-art health and education amenities for the inhabitants and businesses.
Mr Badal stressed that in terms of infrastructure, smart cities of Punjab would have 24×7 availability of high quality utility services like water and power. He stressed that smart cities would minimize waste by increasing energy efficiency and reduce water conservation besides proper recycling of waste materials. Being environmentally friendly, such cities will also use sustainable materials for building facilities and reduce energy consumption, he added.
Complimenting the heritage conservation measures undertaken by Barcelona city which is considered as the model smart city in the world, Deputy Chief Minister interacting with Barcelona authorities said that Punjab was also venturing to conserve and augment heritage in different cities including holy city Amritsar and New Chandigarh. He has also visited different offices and residential complexes in Barcelona and said that Punjab would like to gain from the experiences of planning and execution of smart city practices of this smart city.
During the meetings Mr Ashok Gupta Secretary Local Government, Mr P.S. Aujla Principal Secretary to Deputy CM and Mr. A. Venu Parsad Secretary Housing and Urban Development were also present.