[quote] The commitment by German firms to build residential housing, assist efficient water supply, waste water management and renewable energy, forms part of the Indo-German working group on urban development.
Gunther Adler, State Secretary in the German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety made the announcement, when he led a delegation of technical experts to meet officials of the Indian Ministry of Urban Development.
The State Secretary said that the German Building Ministry "will support German companies that want to cooperate intensively with Indian partners in order to assist Indian cities in implementing their plan."
Kochi (Kerala), Bhubaneswar (Odisha) and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) are among the 20 cities which are to be developed as smart cities, announced by Urban Development Ministry in January this year.
According to the Business Standard, Germany had set up a six-member joint committee with India to identify cities which it could develop as smart cities.
The German Ambassador to India, Martin Ney, addressed the a press conference saying that Germany is a "ideal partner" in India's endeavors to develop smarter, sustainable cities. Ney said that Germany is "very strong at smart planning for urban centres."
He added: “We have developed the technologies to make life in cities easier. We have developed the processes to bring on board the stakeholders to make cities thrive and German companies have developed smart solutions to make smart cities."
Facilitating smart cities development
German officials expect that the Indian government will put the necessary institutional and policy frameworks in place to facilitate public private partnerships between German companies and their Indian companies for the smart cities programme.
Ney added: "We have been supporting important Indian initiatives such as ‘Swachh Bharat’, National Mission for Clean Ganga and Atal Mission for Urban Rejuvenation and Transformation."
Germany is reported to be India’s second largest bilateral donor with a commitment of 1.5 billion euros (Rs 11,0000 crore) agreed last year.