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Diplomats share inputs to make Delhi a ‘smart city’

New Delhi: Diplomats from various countries discussed and expressed opinions on making Delhi a better city at a recent meeting organized by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).

The foreign diplomats had a frank conversation with the NDMC officials.

The NDMC wants to make Delhi a ‘world capital city’ and has even formed a Whatsapp group to allow all embassy representatives, who participated in the meeting, to air their concerns and report any civic violations in the national capital.

Among those present at the meeting were diplomats from Turkey, Kenya, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Canada among other countries.

One of the suggestions voiced by most diplomats was the need to secure pedestrian spaces which get encroached upon by cars, potted plants and squatters.

Jaijit Bhattacharya, partner-government advisory at KPMG India, addressing the issue said, “We have known these problems exist in our cities. Besides, the diplomats stressed the need to build better safety and security mechanisms in the city.”

“The fact these officials are articulating these issues means we need to take them much more seriously in our city planning,” he added.

Bhattacharya further said the Urban Development Ministry has listed 98 cities, which will be developed under the Smart Cities mission in the next five years.

Central schemes, including the Swachh Bharat Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, will be integrated with the smart city planning.

The government will give Rs. 100 crore to each city for this project till 2020. Besides, a corpus of Rs. 48,000 crore has been set aside for the smart city mission by the Centre. An equal amount will have to be contributed by the respective state governments. (ANI)