London and Delhi from now on would share each other’s expertise in solving and tackling issues pertaining to urban governance, transport, education, environment, sports promotion, city tourism, economic affairs and business. Both the cities signed a partnership agreement on Monday. While Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit signed the agreement on behalf of the Delhi government, Mayor of London Ken Livingstone signed it on behalf of his city.
Livingstone hoped Delhi would be able to get the Olympics after successfully hosting the Commonwealth Games. Dikshit, cornered on preparations for the Commonwealth Games, said everything was on “the right track, though not visible”. She admitted that traffic is a big problem in the city but added that all big cities have traffic problems. On what impressed him the most about Delhi, Livingstone said it was how different faiths practice their religions without conflict. “Not only London but the whole world needs tolerance and peace,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the London mayor opened an office in Delhi. Called the “London India Office”, it would work to promote business, culture and tourism between the two cities. “Instead of erecting walls against emerging countries like India, the developed world should learn to grow with them. Otherwise, when the economy eventually opens up, it will collapse,” Livingstone said.
Asked if there can be some sort of cooperation between the police forces of the two cities to tackle terrorism, Livingstone said, “There is nothing we would not share with the Delhi Police. There were already some areas of cooperation between the two capital cities,” he said. The mayor suggested that the city police use security cameras and CCTVs more widely.