Essel group to develop smart cities in Bengal
Project will be developed under PPP model; firm is also in talks with Bihar, UP and Maharashtra govts
Dec 05, 2014
Source : Business Standard


Kolkata: After Madhya Pradesh, plans to develop in West Bengal in collaboration with the state and central government. The project will be developed under under (PPP) model.

“Our company has given the proposal to West Bengal government to create smart cities from the existing cities,” said Subhash Chandra, chairman, Essel group here on Thursday. The state government plans to develop Rajarhat and New Town as smart cities in future.

Refusing to share any details, Chandra said, “ The chief secretary has come out with a plan but details cannot be disclosed,” he said. He said that the group was interested to work in collaboration with the municipal corporations and aid them in electricity, water and power distribution through the use of smart technology.

The Essel group under its arm EsselI infrastructure Projects Limited has committed investments of Rs 7,500 crore to develop five such projects in Madhya Pradesh. The five cities are Gwalior, Ujjain, Sagar, Jabalpur and Dewas

The group aims to participate to build integrated smarter communities across major cities of the state. This will be done by undertaking projects in power and water distribution services, municipal solid waste management, sewage treatment, drainage and storm water management, city wi-fi and, cable and broadband, city gas distribution and intelligent traffic management system.

“A smart city needs to have efficient maintenance of solid waste, proper surveillance and a developed medical facility, we aim to participate in these activities along with the state government,” he said.

Chandra expected that the company will gain from its association with such projects through the revenue sharing model. “ We will be able to generate more revenues from an efficient tax allocation system,” he said.

Recently, Shankar Aggarwal, secretary, had said that the participation of private players in developing smart cities was essential and the ministry was in the process of finalising the guidelines for that, so that companies invest heavily in the projects.

Hundred smart cities is one of the dream project of the Narendra Modi-led government.

On the project in Madhya Pradesh , Chandra said that an agreement would be signed in six to eight months.

He added that Essel Infra will be extensively participating in the smart city projects across the country. “ Our target cities which have a population of more than 5 lacs, we are also in talks with Bihar, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh government,” he said.

On the media front, Chandra said that the group’s media arm Limited (ZMCL) has started to offer programs in Russia in local language. “ We aim to cater to the Spanish viewer in near future and reach a global viewership of 1.4 billion by 2020,” he said.

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