Several countries, including Spain, Canada, Germany and the UK, have shown keen interest to participate in the Union government's flagship Smart City project, the Parliament was informed today.

In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Urban Development Rao Inderjit Singh said other countries that have evinced interest to participate in the project include China, Singapore and South Korea.

Currently, he said two foreign agencies - US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and French Agency for Development (AFD) - have inked MoUs with states and union territories for participation in development of various smart cities.

USTDA has signed MoUs with Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to develop Visakhapatnam, Allahabad and Ajmer as smart cities respectively.

AFD has signed MoUs with Maharashtra, Chandigarh and Puducherry for development of Nagpur, Chandigarh and Oulgaret, Singh said.

The government has earmarked Rs 48,000 crore for develpment of 100 smart cities across the country.

Under the programme, each selected city will be given Rs 500 crore over a period of five years by the Centre with the respective states expected to make the matching contribution.

As many as 33 cities have been identified so far under the programme.

Source: Business Standard