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By Dr. Sanjay Chaturvedi, LLB, PhD.

A virtual roadshow to showcase PPP opportunities under the Smart Cities Mission was organised today by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation agency. This event was the first such investor roadshow providing an opportunity to various Smart City CEOs to directly showcase PPP opportunities from their cities to private investors and start-ups. The opening session was addressed by Mr. Manoj Joshi, Secretary, MoHUA,  Mr. Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Invest India, and Mr. Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary and Mission Director, Smart Cities Mission, MoHUA. Participants included senior officials from Smart Cities, private sector infrastructure and technology companies, and startups.

During the roadshow, the Ministry stressed upon the importance of private sector participation in the progress of the Smart Cities Mission. There is a need for innovative solutions to develop the cities in a smart manner, and with the support of private sector, the Mission had successfully completed 228 PPP projects worth INR 22,000 crore across 60+ cities. It was highlighted to investors that more than 160 PPP early-stage projects worth INR 15,000 crore could benefit from private sector participation, both in terms of investment and development.

The program also highlighted the need for driving continued participation from across the globe and the opportunities hosted on India Investment Grid, the portal developed by Invest India, that has received over 3.5 million views from more than 195 countries, with Smart Cities projects attracting increasing global interest.

PPP opportunities were showcased by CEOs from 10 Smart cities (Ranchi, Nashik, Nagpur, Srinagar, Pune, Gwalior, Imphal, Bilaspur, Shivamogga and Warangal) in 4 sectoral sessions, vis. Urban Transport, Commercial Infrastructure & Hospitality, Education and Energy. The projects covered areas such as market redevelopment, multi-level smart parking, urban mobility, solar power generation, development of multi-modal transport hubs as well as establishment of educational hub.

The audience consisted of established players in the Smart Cities ecosystem as well as new entities looking to foray into this rapidly growing space, with more than 200 attendees from about 100 organizations, including infrastructure and technology companies, start-ups, trade associations, financial investors and multilateral agencies participating in the event.

The roadshow, organised as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav activities under MoHUA, sought to provide an impetus to enabling stronger partnerships between the private sector and Smart Cities. More opportunities from Smart Cities can be accessed on India Investment Grid (IIG) (www.indiainvestmentgrid.gov.in), the official discovery platform of Government of India.