India-UK to work towards MoU for urban development
India and UK have agreed to work towards signing an MoU in the areas of urban development. Indian Urban Development minister Kamal Nath, who was on a trip to London, met with Gregory Clark, Minister of State for Decentralization and Cities, in this regard.
The MoU would inter alia aim at enhancing cooperation and deepen the engagement between India and UK in the areas of capacity building, land economics, heritage management, sustainable master planning, transport planning etc. Another area of cooperation would be the sharing of knowledge in the formulation of Public Private Partnership Models.
“The challenges of urbanisation in India were huge, both in significance and scale and the Government of India is keen on bridging the Urban Infrastructure deficit by benefiting from the wealth of experience of the UK Government in the Urban sector,” said Nath.
Nath also participated in a meeting of the UK India Urban Infrastructure Group organized by the UK Business Council and UK Trade & Investment. The UK India Urban Infrastructure Group has proposed conducting an Urban Regeneration Scoping Study to be fully funded by UK Government and Private Sector Participants for the city of Kolkata. The above group has also proposed to cooperate in the development of a “Regeneration Master Plans” that would entail developing a sustainable master plan on a “holistic basis” setting out recommendations in relation to the phased regeneration and planned development of urban infrastructure with environment and sustainability at the core. This could be demonstrated by adopting a satellite town to deploy UK expertise.
The meeting was attended by several UK Companies including ARUP, Biwater International Ltd., Clifford Chance LLP, JCB, KPMG LLP (UK), Mott MacDonald Group and Serco Group. Nath was in London on 14 October 2011 to participate in the UK India Business Forum organized by the UKIBC, UK Trade & Investment and Indian Chamber of Commerce.