State Affairs

France, Puducherry to revive Grand Canal

PUDUCHERRY: France will actively participate in the rejuvenation of Grand Canal under the Smart City project, said Catherine Suard, Consul General of France in Puducherry and Chennai, on Thursday.

“Our effort will be to rejuvenate the Grand Canal from Dubrayapet to Patel Salai and convert it into a tourism spot. The plan includes pedestrianising the side of the canal, creating shopping opportunities, beautification, façade improvement and mobility, and finally transforming it into an ecological corridor from the city centre to the mangroves,” she said in her maiden address to the media after taking over as Consul General, reports The Hindu.

Ms. Suard said, around 1,750 dwelling units will be constructed through redevelopment of the existing slum housing sites. “The construction of the multi-storey housing projects for the economically weaker sections will be done in the new sites in area-based development,” she said.

Apart from this, the project also comprises plans to decongest the city, build multi-storey parking lots in vantage points and pedestrian friendly zone inside the boulevard town. “The beach promenade will be extended by 1.7 km on both sides by creating pedestrian paths, iconic cycle tracks and shopping opportunities. The plan also includes a city command and control centre to monitor the traffic movement, law and order, street light functioning, and a city emergency operation centre,” she added.

Ms. Suard said that the France team was supporting the preparatory work and is keen to support the implementing phase.

AFD, the French bilateral development agency, is managing the technical assistance programme to help the city of Puducherry in preparing and implementing the smart city project. It is providing financial assistance of 200 million euros to address the water and sanitation sector in Puducherry and its outskirts. “The French government will be actively partnering with the UT in implementing the Smart City project,” she said.

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