Singapore is sharing its expertise in urban planning to help develop two new townships in the desert state of Rajasthan, said Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam. A memorandum of understanding for the fresh collaboration between Singapore and the Indian state was signed yesterday.
Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) and Rajasthan Housing Board agreed to jointly come up with a concept plan for two townships in Jodhpur and Udaipur. This includes housing solutions and master planning.
At the two-day Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit, where Singapore is a partner country, Shanmugam, who is also Law Minister, said, “On urban planning, we are happy to share our experience of better housing, which is one of the tangible and visible signs of progress. Housing is probably our signature success, with 90 per cent of (Singaporeans) owning homes.”
SCE Asia-Pacific director Kevin Chong told that the focus of the project would be on building affordable housing and lots of green spaces.
Chong said, “We will look at township development, and also how township can serve the areas of affordable housing. We also want to see if we can introduce prefabrication technology that Singapore has been using for HDB.”
Rajasthan, which has a population of around 73 million people, is one of India’s top tourist destinations. Yet, as a desert state, it is often hit by drought and suffers from an acute shortage of water.
The state, which is governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Vasundhara Raje, makes up 10 per cent of India’s land area and is its largest state, but has only 1.16 per cent of its water resources.
Rajasthan has been trying to woo investors and the partnership summit, the second by the state, has obtained commitments of US$65 billion (S$93 billion) in investments, according to the state government
The ITE Education Services is also working with Rajasthan officials to develop the Centre of Excellence for Tourism Training in Udaipur, a tourist hub.
The latest collaboration in urban planning between Singapore and Rajasthan comes ahead of a two-day visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Singapore from next Monday.