SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh government on Thursday signed a preliminary memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Singapore government for developing an integrated township “Greater Shimla” at Jathiadevi, near the town. It is said the town will occupy space on 400 bighas of land with technical assistance extended from the Singapore government. This would reduce burden of overgrowing population flowing in from the town.
The MoU was signed between Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) and the Asian Pacific Singapore Enterprise in presence of the urban development, town and country planning and housing minister, Sudhir Sharma during a meeting.
Presiding over the meeting of delegates of the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE), government of Singapore and senior officers of the HIMUDA, Sudhir Sharma said that development of a smart integrated township near the state capital was an ambitious project of the government which would go a long way in de-congesting this highly populated city. He said that there had been ten time increase in the population of Shimla city, which was initially developed for 25,000 people only resulting in congestion and over utilization of infrastructure.
He said that HIMUDA has already acquired 32 hectare land for developing this township at Jathiadevi, near Juberhatti airstrip, which is connected by three national highways. The state would take the benefit of expertise of Singapore which had a huge experience of urban planning, he said.
“The preliminary MoU has been signed today for this project which will be expanded soon after detailed discussions between the two governments. The state is also looking forward to explore possibilities for expanding this MoU for more housing projects in the state as well,” he added.
Sudhir Sharma said that a working group has been constituted having representatives from both the governments to chalk out plan, exchange of ideas and working on key factors for this new township.
He said that housing projects of HIMUDA had come up at Solan, Kasauli and many other places of the state and in developing these projects it was being ensured that these catered not only to the people of the state but outsiders and NRI’s as well. The emphasis has been laid on connecting new townships with the existing ones.
Kevin Chong, director, Asia Pacific said that SCE was very keen to assist HIMUDA in this project and the new township would be developed at a cost effective manner.
He said the township would be developed as per the expectations of the state government and taking into consideration the topography and other conditions of this hilly state.
Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development, Town and Country Planning and Housing Manisha Nanda said that Himachal Pradesh is witnessing speedy urbanization and keeping the concerns like mobility, water supply, sewerage system, sanitation etc. in mind, the government was planning to develop more township in a phased and coordinated manner.
She said that TCP had eased the norms to facilitate the developers and Himachal Pradesh was the first state in the country to provide online permissions. Similarly, a mobile app had also been launched to trap all the applications at one place, she added.
Credits ET Realty