France to provide over 2 billion euros for ‘Smart Cities’


New Delhi: The French Development Agency (AFD) on Friday said that it is committed to providing over 2 billion euros in next three years for India’s ‘Smart Cities’ project.

“AFD’s commitment is to provide 2 billion euros over the next 3 years of loans to support smart cities and sustainable development in India,” its chief Pascal Pacaut told media here after it and the Indian finance ministry’s department for economic affairs held their 6th annual negotiation meeting on Thursday regarding the implementation of India’s ‘smart cities’ project.

France has extended its support in investing in building ‘smart cities’ here, Ambassador to India Francois Richier told media.

“It is our priority to support green and inclusive growth in India,” he said.

He said the focus will be on the three cities of Chandigarh, Nagpur and Puducherry, while there is an investment of 200 million euros for the extension of Bangalore metro.

“Our priority is also to create energy efficiency in municipal street lighting with EESL (Energy Efficiency Service Ltd) at (an outlay of) 50 million euros,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited France in April and France had committed 600 million euros for ‘Smart Cities’ and projects related to sustainability, including in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Richier had also visited Puducherry himself to review the implementation of the project. He will also visit Chandigarh for the same purpose.