Dr Ney - Smart Cities Mission
Smart Cities Mission

Smart Cities Mission

German Ambassador to India Dr Ney recently visited Bhubaneswar, Kochi and Coimbatore—the three cities the German government is supporting as a partner of India’s Smart Cities Mission. The trip was significant, as it contributed to building a roadmap to turn these metropolises into smart cities with technical collaboration and financial assistance from Germany. What’s Up, Germany? travelled with Dr Ney, his wife, Dr Gabriele Ney, and the accompanying high-level delegation to capture the most notable and memorable moments.

Dr Ney with Chief Minister Naveen PatnaikBhubaneswar »

The city of temples has a deep connection with Germany. Designed by German architect Otto Königsberger in 1946, modern Bhubaneswar is one of the first planned cities in India. As one of the fastest-developing urban areas in the country, Bhubaneswar’s original town planning needs to be looked at afresh. The city topped the list of 20 cities selected under the smart cities initiative and was the first to form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL), to facilitate its metamorphosis into a smart city.

During his visit, Dr Ney conferred with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Odisha’s Housing and Urban Development Minister Pushpendra Singh Deo, Governor SC Jamir and other senior government officials. Germany will focus on the areas of water and wastewater management, solid waste management, renewable energies and energy efficiency, complete street projects and sustainable urban mobility. Special attention will be given to non-motorised transport, including the introduction of e-rickshaws and bicycle-sharing projects. The visiting delegation included representatives from the German companies Bosch, Siemens, Dorsch Group, Harbauer and TÜV SÜD. The German Development Bank KfW is discussing several environmentally relevant urban projects for future cooperation wiSmart Cities Mission - Bhubaneswarth the Odisha government and Bhubaneswar city, which may lead to concessional loan support ranging from ₹1,400–2,200 crore.


Bhubaneswar Town Centre District (BTCD): retrofit and redevelop the area around the main railway station into a vibrant destination. Fifty-six projects have been planned for the BTCD.

Intelligent City Operations and Management Centre (ICOMC): this state-of-the-art centre will provide a digital platform for integrating traffic management, emergency response, parking solutions, bus operations and common fare card. ICOMC, Bhubaneswar’s pan-city solution, will be the backbone of all systems and services.

Ambassador Dr. Ney in CoimbatoreCoimbatore »

 (Tamil Nadu)
Coimbatore, the second-largest city in Tamil Nadu and the 15th-largest urban agglomeration in India, made it to number 13 on the list of 20 smart cities selected in the first round. The SPV, Coimbatore Smart City Ltd, will implement the initiatives. The local government plans to concentrate its efforts on wastewater treatment, urban mobility and renewable energies, with a special focus on the development of eight lakes. German companies are known for their expertise in these areas.

Ambassador Ney, along with a ten-member delegation, met the mayor, government and civic body officials to take the smart city project forward. A day prior, he had detailed discussions stradd-ling various areas of cooperation with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, during which she assured her cooperation. Dr Ney reiterated that Germany would use its expertise and experience at urban planning and development to help make Coimbatore a smart city.

Coimbatore has a long-standing relationship with Germany. Through KfW’s credit line to the Tamil Nadu Urban Development Fund (TNUDF), Germany is supporting water supply improvement and water bodies’ redevelopment projects in Coimbatore. Robert Bosch India Ltd (RBIL), a wholly-owned Smart Cities Mission - Coimbatoresubsidiary of the engineering and electronics giant Bosch, has established one of its largest development centres outside Germany in Coimbatore. Additionally, Coimbatore and the German city of Esslingen signed a twin-city agreement recently.


Seamless mobility: retrofit the development of central Coimbatore, incorporating a 30km-long non-motorised transport corridor. Steps will also be taken to increase the use of public transport.

Rejuvenation of city lakes: develop an integrated network of the city’s lakes and reinforce their flood management capacity. Creating open life spaces will also be a priority.

Security and connectivity: implement a modern CCTV surveillance and traffic monitoring system. Smart street poles with Wi-Fi routers, cameras and energy-saving LED lights will be set up.

Home improvement: rehabilitate low-income households and provide essential services embedded with smart solutions.

Germany has 50 years’ experience in planning smart cities, and we are proud to be in partnership with Kochi, which is on its way to becoming a smart city, and we intend to start our journey towards that through sustainable and environment-friendly urban mobility.

—German Ambassador to India Dr Ney


Cochin International Airport is a stand-out when it comes to clean energy: it is the world’s first airport running solely on solar power. CIAL (Cochin International Airport Ltd) has installed a 12MW solar plant with more than 46,000 panels on 45 acres at an investment of ₹62 crore. Its entire power requirement of about 50,000 units per day is met through solar energy. The project was executed by the Bosch Energy and Building Solutions’ team in India (BEBS) in a short span of six months. Over the next 25 years, this project will avoid carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants by more than 3 lakh metric tons—equivalent to planting 3 million trees!

 Ambassador Dr Ney in KochiKochi »

This port city has been drawing traders and explorers to its shores for more than 600 years. Interest in Kochi is about to reach new heights, as the city ranked fifth among the 20 cities selected in the first round of the “Smart Cities Mission”. As part of the city’s smart makeover, the local government announced the establishment of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) that will be fully operational in 2021. The project is expected to generate over 90,000 jobs. The SPV formed with a budget of ₹2,000 crore has been named Cochin Smart City Mission Ltd.

Kochi, too, has enjoyed a long-term partnership with Germany. With German assistance, it will soon become India’s first metropolis to have a fully connected ferry system that will complement the existing metro rail and bus transport. The “Integrated Water Transport” project will be the first to be funded by KfW under the “Climate Friendly Urban Mobility” framework of Indo-German cooperation. The agreement between KfW and Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) was signed in the presence of Ambassador Dr Ney. During this tour, he met Minister KT Jaleel, Kochi Municipal Corporation’s secretary Amit Meena, managing director of KMRL Elias George and Mayor Soumini Jain, among othSmart Cities Mission - Kochiers.

A sum of ₹196 crore from Germany’s ₹630-crore soft loan has been set aside to purchase 78 air-conditioned, Wi-Fi-enabled ferries for the Greater Kochi region. These ferries are 20 per cent more fuel-efficient than the boats currently being operated, leading to a reduction in emissions. The state government, on its part, will contribute ₹102 crore. The overall project implementation will be in two phases and will be completed by 2020. It includes the development of 16 identified routes, connecting 38 docks across ten islands and spans a total route network of 76km.


Seamless multi-modal transport: improve mobility between Fort Kochi, Mattancherry and the Central Business District City through waterways, pedestrian-friendly roads, bicycle tracks and redesigned road networks. Metro transits, bus terminals and railway stations will be linked with the waterways. For last-mile connectivity, electric feeder buses and e-rickshaws will
be deployed.

Smart citizen tools: integrated delivery of government-to-citizen services using SMART Cards and mobile platforms. The EMV-enabled SMART Card payment solution is to be extended to all city transport services.

Intelligent water management solutions: ensuring 24×7 water supply in the next four years by implementing solutions such as smart meters and command and control systems.