Paris has a lot to learn from Delhi, said Bertrand Delanoe, the Mayor of the French capital.
Delhi’s experience in higher education was something the local government of Paris wanted to study and make a key area of co-operation, he said.
Apart from this, Delanoe said he admired the greenery in the city. He had called on Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday evening.
“I find history has constructed Delhi with a lot of green — at least in central Delhi. We would want it for Paris. Delhi has university ambitions and that is an area we are interested in,” Delanoe told HT in a one-on-one conversation.
“We are also looking at the Delhi government’s efforts in encouraging economic activities.”
He said the local governments of the two cities should play a role in bettering the “already very good” tie between India and France.
“Which is why I attended a conference on co-operation in local governance yesterday,” he said, adding that for any “pragmatic work” to take place, the French capital must first work with the Indian capital.
On offering French expertise to India, he said access to water, housing, transport and pollution were some areas of collaboration.
Asked about his impression of Delhi’s preparedness for Commonwealth Games 2010, Delanoe said: “I am sure the Commonwealth Games in Delhi will be a great success.”
Paris had lost the bid for the Summer Olympic Games 2012 to London despite having state-of-the-art infrastructure in place.
The Paris 2012 bid team had claimed the proposed transportation system would mean a travel time of only 10 minutes between the two main sporting venue clusters and the Olympic and Paralympic Games villages in Paris.