The French government will sign a pact with the Union government in November to develop a semi-high speed train track between New Delhi and Chandigarh. The project is expected to be completed within five years, after which the distance between the two cities will come down to just two hours.
So far, the Shatabdi Express takes around three hours and 25 minutes to complete the journey.
European nation to assist UT in getting ‘smart’ too
France will also assist the UT administration in preparing a detailed project report for the Smart City project besides partner with the local authorities to push for the heritage status for the city.
The announcement was made following a meeting between UT officials and the French delegation on urban infrastructure development, led by ambassador Francois Richier, which arrived in the city on Monday.
The visit was an outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France in April this year, during which it was decided that the Indian and French sides will cooperate in different areas that are of relevance to Chandigarh.
UT adviser Vijay Dev said the two sides decided to cooperate on various projects, such as water supply, waste management, urban transportation and traffic management.
The French agreed to provide technical assistance in these areas to plan viable projects besides providing loans to the Centre for their implementation.
Ambassador Francois Richier said it was an exploratory trip and by the next visit, expected by the end of this year, concrete proposals would be worked out by close interaction between the French and UT officials. He said they would also work towards suggesting non-motorised transport, so that there are lowest possible carbon emissions in the city.
French delegation meets Solanki
The French delegation called on UT administrator Kaptan Singh Solanki at Haryana Raj Bhavan. Solanki said he hoped the interaction between the UT and French delegation would give a new direction to the relationship between Chandigarh and France.
Survey conducted last month
The French railway’s representatives Michel Testard and Phillipe Lorand, part of the delegation on Monday, had visited the city railway station last month. The two had collected data on number of platforms, passenger footfall and services at the station, as part of the survey to find the estimated cost and time span in which the semi-high speed project could be completed. The officials said the city railway station was the cleanest among all stations they had seen in India. They said a workshop is also expected to be held in November this year to discuss the feasibility of metro or tramway in the city.
Other areas of cooperation
Round-the-clock water supply
Distribution of tertiary water to conserve water
Mechanical, automated management of solid waste
Better sewage processing
Intelligent public transportation system
Smart traffic management integrated with security system
Conservation and preservation of heritage sites