HYDERABAD: The US government will prepare the smart city development plan for Visakhapatnam free of charge. Incidentally, the Singapore government has also come forward to develop the master plan for the capital city without charging any consultation fee.
The US on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the AP government for development of smart cities across the state in general and Visakhapatnam in particular.
Official sources said the US government is likely to involve consultants for preparing the smart city development project. The USA will give 'exposure' to AP officials and offer expert help to the state in creation of smart cities. The AP government plans to develop 14 smart cities. The USA will primarily focus on Vizag.
Sources said IT giants such as IBM, Deloitte and Cisco have shown interest in preparing the development plan. "These companies will come up with their version of smart city plan for Vizag," said an official, who is actively monitoring the smart city programme in the state. The Centre recently came out with a concept note on smart cities.
"The USA will also bring in some companies and agencies to invest in the state," the official said.
Multinational companies including Cisco, IBM, 3M, EMC, GE, Honeywell, KPMG, Otis, Timken and Louis Berger have reportedly formed a consortium to help the smart city initiative in Vizag, Ajmer and Allahabad. This group will actively participate in development plans.
The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will monitor the project. These companies will also provide technological solutions.