The South Korean government on Monday expressed its willingness to provide technology as well as finances to build the first-of-its-kind smart city in India at New Chandigarh.
The offer was extended by Korean company -- Korea Telecom to a high-level Punjab delegation led by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Sukhbir during his tour of the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) operational centre near Seoul asked Korea Telecom officials to submit a proposal for developing New Chandigarh as a smart city. He said this could be an ideal showcase for a smart city model in India as all necessary smart city solutions could be installed in New Chandigarh which was being built from scratch.
Badal also proposed a twin project for Ludhiana and Amritsar whereby LED lights and safe city features could be linked on one pole. The deputy CM made the suggestion to Korea Telecom when the company said it would run its proposed LED lights through network. This, it said, would also allow installation of safe city features like CCTV cameras and licence plate recognition systems on the same poles.
Korea Telecom director Ilhwan Park said his company already had a business model in place under which loan could be given to investors from the Exim bank in Korea. He said the company was ready to consider other business models, including consultancy as well as installing and running of smart cities and LED and safe city projects.
Giving details of the Songdo smart city, which is part of the Incheon free economic zone, officials said 317 cameras installed in the city monitored air and water levels besides monitoring transport and giving real-time information to people about accidents or traffic jams. They said besides, all information about incoming vehicles was assessed to know if any vehicle had been involved in a crime.
The deputy CM also visited Maeil Dairies, one of the largest milk producing units in South Korea. Following the visit, Sukhbir said Punjab could upgrade its milk producing cooperative Milkfed and its Verka milk plants by using technology and best practices perfected by Maeil Dairies. Plants in line for upgrade are the Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Bathinda, Patiala and SAS Nagar milk plants.
During his tour of the milk plant, the deputy CM was shown how the plant used modern technology, including assembly lines, to bottle and package milk as well as other value-added products like cafe latte and yoghurt.
Maeil Dairies managing director Oh Ik Chong said the dairy was producing 62 lakh litres of milk and processed around 8 lakh litres. He said the company owned 120 farms having 40,000 cows and also purchased milk from private producers.