British deputy high commissioner Andrew McAllister on Wednesday articulated his country’s expression of interest to partner with India in realizing her vision of creating 100 smart cities.
Speaking at a round-table on ‘Smart cities and inclusion’ held here under the aegis of the British high commission, he expressed the UK’s keen interest in key areas like sustainable energy, financial and professional services skills and urban smart cities.
McAllister asserted that the UK had pioneered in infrastructure innovation. “The London underground is more than 150 years old and yet it is still driving the heartbeat of the city of London well into the 21st century. Our strengths span into all aspects of design architecture and master planning to engineering consultancy, smart grids and project managements”, he stated.
He further described the UK as a ‘global leader’ in digital technology and innovative financial solutions. The deputy high commissioner called for inclusion of the voiceless and the less privileged in the smart city and digital concepts. “In recent times, technology and knowhow have been great levellers. People are using ICT and social media to track, report and lobby on political issues. But how inclusive is it”, he asked.
Krishna district collector Ahmed Babu said the district administration is planning to take up an initiative “Golden Mile project’ on Mahatma Gandhi Road up to Benz Circle in the city as part of the smart city concept. Piped natural gas (PNG) has already become operational in Satyanarayanapuram area on a pilot project. Smart traffic concept would be introduced on the MG Road with facilities for parking of vehicles, citizen services and crime management.
Of 253 citizen services sought to be extended in the city under the smart city concept, 23 of them would be provided on the MG Road, the collector explained.