India on Sunday signed three agreements with the US for developing smart cities in Ajmer, Allahabad and Visakhapatnam, with the government saying that the agreements would make significant contribution to building such cities in the country.
The agreements were signed by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) with state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh in the presence of Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
Speaking on the occasion, Naidu observed that India-US cooperation has acquired a new dimension with the signing of the MoUs which will make significant contribution to building smart cities.
USTDA will contribute funds for necessary feasibility studies and pilots, study tours, workshops or trainings and other projects to be mutually determined. It will invite smart solutions for smart cities reverse trade mission delegation to the US, with delegates from the three states and will fund advisory services to support the development of smart cities.
It will collaborate with other US government agencies like Department of Commerce, US Export-Import Bank and other trade and economic agencies and promote greater US-India infrastructure development cooperation and to support development of smart cities.
The agency will enable US industry organisations to mobilise private sector expertise and resources to address important aviation and energy-related infrastructure connected to development of smart cities.
The MoUs were signed by USTDA Director Leocardia I Zak and respective chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, Alok Ranjan, C S Ranjan and I V R Krishna Rao.
Under the MoUs that came into effect on Sunday, the respective state governments will provide resources in support, coordination and facilitation of development of smart cities including technical information and data related to smart cities planning, staff, logistical and travel support.
The agreements referred to the US-India Joint Statement of September 30 last year related to the first bilateral summit meeting between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which the US welcomed India's offer for US industry to be the lead partner in developing smart cities in Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam.
The Narendra Modi government has planned to develop 100 smart cities in the country.