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Sri Lanka goes mega in smart city push

The south Asian island nation of Sri Lanka announced it is partnering with Siemens to transform its entire Western Province in one huge smart city.

As reported by Money Control Sri Lanka signed an agreement to gain smart city expertise from Siemens, the German engineering and technology giant. Siemens will be contributing its smart city expertise to help the government develop cost-efficient infrastructure and reduce congestion in the country’s Western Province.

Sri Lanka’s move comes as neighboring India recently ramped up efforts to transform many of its most populous urban areas into smart cities.

The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development is the Sri Lankan state department tasked with developing a vast smart city that will become a commercial, aviation and naval hub for the Asian region over the next five years. The Megapolis Ministry, which sounds vaguely like an industrial band from the 1980s, plans to develop new cities in Bandaragama, Kadawatha, Kottawa and Kerawalapitiya as part of the initiative.

“We are… happy to partner with Siemens whose expertise and technologies will contribute to the Western Province’s intensive efforts to eliminate congestion pressure on urban infrastructure, services and environment with a focus on reducing the per unit capital cost of infrastructure,” said Lakshman Jayasekara of the Western Region Megapolis Planning Project in a statement.

Sri Lanka rebuilding after long civil war

Sri Lanka, an island nation off the coast of India with a population of 20 million, is in the process of rebuilding its economy after a debilitating 25-year civil war.

In its move to modernize Sri Lanka’s economy and cope with its rapid urbanization, the ministry is looking for smart city solutions to such issues as traffic, energy, environment, garbage, slums and livelihoods.

“With its global expertise, Siemens has the portfolio, the know-how, and the expertise to help cities become more livable, more competitive and more sustainable,” said Sunil Mathur, CEO of Siemens India. “This will enable the national economy to leverage the benefits of economies of agglomeration brought about by urbanization.”

The ministry will be involved primarily in macro-level planning of the Western Megapolis region, developing and implementing insight on bio-geophysical and socio-economic aspects.

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