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Fadnavis, Tel Aviv mayor agree to cooperate on smart cities

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai on Monday agreed to cooperate in building smart cities and explore the Indian IT potential to increase efficiency of smart urban solutions after holding wide-ranging talks here.

Fadnavis was briefed by the Tel Aviv Mayor and his team of experts on the concept and implementation of the smart city project in the latter’s city, which was adjudged as the ‘world’s smartest city’ at the Smart City Expo World Congress held in 2014.

Maharashtra is a rapidly industrializing state with a vibrant IT economy witnessing increasing urbanisation and aspires to create sustainable and friendly urban spaces that integrate the use of technology, social media, community participation and e-governance to build smart cities in cities like Nagpur, Mumbai, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nasik of global standards.

After detailed discussions between two sides they agreed to cooperate and facilitate in exchange of information and best practices, particularly in Tel Aviv. Some of the areas that were particularly outlined for cooperation included community outreach and participation through use of social media and open data, online municipal services, traffic and parking management through IT, security and emergencies, promoting a start-up city and youth entrepreneurship, green construction and rational land use to create an appealing urban environment etc.

The two sides agreed to continue discussions related to common challenges faced by modern cities and possible solutions, explore the possibility of using Indian IT capabilities to increase efficiency of smart urban solutions and to implement the above by facilitating exchange of experts and city officials and if appropriate through harnessing Israeli smart technologies and solutions.

It was further agreed that officials of the government of Maharashtra and the municipality of Tel Aviv would hold further discussions to suggest concrete steps to implement the above understandings.

Huldai invited the government of Maharashtra to send a delegation to his city to participate in the Tel Aviv Innovation Festival to be held on 6-7 September to understand the use of innovation in building smart cities.

Fadnavis who arrived in Tel Aviv on Sunday invited its mayor to Maharashtra to continue discussions and to promote the close friendship between the people of India and Israel. The Maharashtra chief minister is on a three-day visit to Israel to participate in the agritech conference that showcases Israel’s technological advancement in the field of agriculture.

During his trip, he will also be meeting Israeli agriculture minister Yair Shamir, senior officials from various ministries, including MATIMOP, the nodal government agency for research and development cooperation. Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma is also expected to arrive here tomorrow with his delegation for the conference.

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