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Obama’s India visit: Smart cities project gets US boost even before roll-out

While the government is yet to roll out the smart cities scheme, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) signed Memorandums of Understandings (MoUs) with Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh for cooperation to support the development of three smart cities – Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam.

Under the MoUs, the USTDA will contribute funds for feasibility studies and pilot projects, study tours, workshops or trainings and other projects that would be determined mutually.

As per the agreements, USTDA will collaborate with other US government agencies like the Department of Commerce, the US Export Import Bank and other trade and economic agencies to promote greater US-India infrastructure development cooperation and to support development of smart cities.

USTDA will assist the urban local bodies in preparing the master plans, helping them identify the priority areas. USTDA will enable US industry bodies to mobilize private sector expertise and resources to address important aviation and energy related infrastructure connected to developing smart cities.

The MoUs referred to the US-India joint statement of September 30 related to the first summit meeting between US President Barack Obama and PM Narendra Modi in which the US had welcomed India’s offer for US industry to be the lead partner in developing the three smart cities.

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