Mumbai: Swedish Minister Mehmet Kaplan on Saturday said his country is ready to collaborate with Maharashtra government to offer its expertise in fields of waste, digital urban land management and urban transportation.
Kaplan, Minister for Housing, Urban Development and IT, met Maharashtra Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya here to discuss on how Sweden could collaborate with the state for creating sustainable urbanisation.
India and Sweden recently signed an MoU on sustainable urban development.
"Sweden and India have always had good relations visible through the number of exchanges on political level as well as student exchanges and company collaborations. For Sweden, which is striving to be an open innovation driven economy, India is a natural partner and Maharashtra in particular," Kaplan told reporters.
He said his visit to the megapolis is to further strengthen the partnership with a focus on smart cities and sustainable urban development.
"To make a city smart, we need overall sustainable development in areas of infrastructure, basic amenities as well as waste management. We have the expertise in waste management where we generate biogas which is used to heat up buildings. Waste from across various countries come to Sweden. Therefore, this is an interesting area to cooperate with the state," he said.
The minister further said its expertise in the geographic information system (GIS) will help in mapping land and to plan its development which will be economically, ecologically and socially sustainable.
"Besides, we can also assist the state in planning and creating infrastructure which is a key part in developing a smart city," he added.
India and Sweden recently signed an MoU on sustainable urban development. A core working committee group has been formed, which will formulate the roadmap for collaboration between the two countries for sustainable development.
Consul General for Sweden Fredrika Ornbrant said the broad range of engagement between the Scandinavian country and Maharashtra stretching from business and infrastructure to education and culture is inspiring.
"Swedish companies in the state generate almost 28,000 jobs directly and a total of 1.45 lakh in the country."
"In line with the Indian government's initiative to build 100 smart cities across the country, the MoU on sustainable urban development between our two nations will help develop, govern and manage these cities according to best practises developed through close cooperation," she added.