news Saturday, January 24, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | January 24, 2015 | 10:35 am IST Representatives of leading US companies Friday held discussions with officials here to create a roadmap for developing Visakhapatnam into a smart city. The discussions were held at a roundtable on smart cities organised by the US-India Business Council (USBIC) to advance the goal of developing this coastal city as a smart city as articulated in the joint statement between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September last year. USIBC acting president Diane Farrell led representatives from 25 major US companies, held discussions with senior representatives from the union urban development ministry and the Andhra Pradesh government. "We are delighted to see the progress made here today which reaffirmed the commitment of the government and US industry towards building Visakhapatnam as a model for India's 100 smart cities plan," said Praveen Prakash, joint secretary in the urban development ministry. Smart Cities are the integration of information technology, telecommunications, urban planning, smart infrastructure and operations in an environment geared to maximise the quality of life for a city's population. During the USIBC's first smart cities conclave held in November 2014, Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu had invited the USIBC to constitute smart city sub-committees in order to prepare an action plan for Visakhapatnam, Allahabad and Ajmer. "The council and its member companies look to play an integral role in India's commitment to build 100 smart cities across the nation and particularly in Visakhapatnam, Allahabad, and Ajmer. "With the second bilateral meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi in less than four months, there is a shared sense of desire to deliver measurable results, which is the ultimate aim of the smart cities Initiative," said Farrell. Representatives of 3M, AECOM, Applied Materials, CH2MHill, Cisco, Dow, GE, Hospira, IBM, Microsoft, and United Technologies Corporation attended the round table. IANS Tweet Follow @thenewsminute

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