From ET Realty
CHENNAI: Companies in the United States are likely to tie up with Chennai for the proposed Smart City project, and provide funding and technology to help the city execute the plan, once Greater Chennai Corporation forms a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the venture.
An 18-member US business delegation led by US department of commerce deputy secretary Bruce Andrews was in Chennai on Friday for a conference organised by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce on the Centre’s Smart City project. Members of the US group held detailed discussions with civic officials, industrialists and urban planners on the project.
Chennai, which the Centre had on its first list of 20 cities to be developed under the project, will execute a Rs.1,366.24-crore project for area-based development of T Nagar and a pan-city solution for non-motorised transport and disaster management. It plans to launch the project through loans in the public private partnership (PPP) model.
Andrews said experts have estimated that 300 million people -or close to the entire population of the US -will move to Indian cities over the next 20 years. “Chennai is growing rapidly because of competitive conditions, significant port activity and a growing IT economy ,” he said.”This has made the city attractive for both foreign investors and Indian citizens.”
Experts at the conference pointed out that tie-ups with developed countries, use of information communication technology and a proper master plan will all be key to the success of the project. Low collection of taxes and limited financial resources, however, are stumbling blocks that Greater Chennai Corporation faces, they said. US Trade and Development Agency director Leocadia Zak said cities the Centre has shortlisted for the project could explore various funding options including seed funding, public private partnerships and municipal bonds.
Corporation officials said they will set up an SPV that a full-time CEO will head and have nominees from the Centre, the state government and the corporation by March. It will be execute the smart city projects in a timely way , they said.