India and Sweden today agreed to cooperate in the implementation of new urban sector initiatives in India relating to promotion of public transport, municipal waste management and digitalization.
“Both the countries have agreed to identify specific projects for promoting sustainable urban development in India,” a statement released said after a meeting between visiting Swedish Minister of Housing, Urban Development and Information Technology Mehmet Kaplan and Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu here.
The two ministers have identified promotion of public transport, municipal waste management and digitalization as priority areas for cooperation in the context of initiatives for development of smart cities and upgrading basic infrastructure in other cities in India, it said.
Kaplan also offered his country’s assistance in production of bio-gas from solid and liquid municipal waste and its conversion to fuel for running vehicles.
He inquired from Naidu about urban planning processes in India and use of digital technologies for efficient use of resources and improving governance.
Naidu told his Swedish counterpart that citizen consultation has been made mandatory for identification and prioritization of projects and drawing up city-level plans under Smart City and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
On being presented an elephant carved in wood as a souvenir by Naidu, Kaplan said, “I am delighted. While leaving for India, I asked my daughter what did she like to be brought for her from India and she wanted an elephant.
“I am glad that you fulfilled my daughter’s wish,” he said. The visiting minister had brought a crystal sculpture of horse hand painted in organic colours.