Smart cities coordination conference call with US Embassy, FCS, Trade Deptt & USTDA to review progress of US private sector engagement with Indian Stakeholders in Smart cities & way forward
A coordination and Review Call to discuss the progress of engagements seen at the G-to-G level, particularly in the three cities where the US has been asked to play the lead was organized by Amcham Infrastructure & Smart City Committee. The participants included US Embassy’s Minister Counsellor John McCaslin, USTDA’s Regional Director, Henry Steingass and Jamie Merriman, and USIBC’s Ketan Thakkar. A number of the infrastructure consortium’s member companies such as Aecom, CH2M Hill, Cisco, IBM, UTC, 3M, Honeywell, Mastercard, Oracle , HP etc participated and contributed to the discussion. With the Central Govt having launched the Smart City Mission guidelines on June 25 defining the various aspects of the selection, evaluation, implementation and financing of the Smart cities program, it was consensually agreed that States like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal are further along in setting up mechanisms and roadmaps to develop their respective Smart City vision/s.
The US Trade and Development Agency, will continue to lead broad based engagements and remains strategically involved with each of the three State Governments of Andhra Pradesh (Vizag), Rajasthan (Ajmer) and Uttar Pradesh (Allahabad). The common underlying concern remained the financing of these programs and a deeper thought may be still needed to work out the long term commercial viability & sustainability of the “how to bid viably” question -for commercial scale smart city projects.
The other activity that is being undertaken is the Smart City Reverse Trade Mission for Vizag, whereby it is proposed to bring in Andhra Pradesh, Vizag, Ministry of Urban Development, and Ministry of Finance for a seven day visit to US (Greater New York area, Greater San Francisco area and Greater Washington area). The dates are to be set shortly.