Fri, April 19, 2024

NIFRA, SMEC International ink deal to develop smart city in Panchkhal

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KATHMANDU: Nepal Infrastructure Bank Limited (NIFRA) and SMEC International, a Singapore-based global urban infrastructure consulting firm and member of Surbana Jurong (SJ) Group, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of a smart city in Panchkhal Municipality of Kavrepalanchok district. Chief Executive Officer of NIFRA Ram Krishna Khatiwada and Country Head of SMEC Salim Jahan Fahim signed the MoU on behalf of their respective agencies amid a function held in Kathmandu on Tuesday. The senior management of the bank, officials from SMEC and Spokesperson of Panchkhal Municipality Sanjay Lama were present at the MoU signing ceremony. The SMEC and NIFRA will handhold to conduct the preliminary studies, initial structuring of project and to exchange best practices on the development of smart cities. Likewise, NIFRA will provide necessary facilitation and other services to SMEC during the engagement period. NIFRA will also arrange necessary financing in coordination with other stakeholders as a lead financer for the development of the smart city after completion of required studies, designs and legal structuring of the project. Panchkhal Municipality has taken the lead in securing the required land in coordination with landowners in the municipality. Panchkhal Smart City, the first of its kind in Nepal, covers an area of around 5.500 ropani. NIFRA has signed a separate MoU with Panchkhal Muncipality for the development of the smart city. Meanwhile, NIFRA has signed a contract with a US-based consulting firm JLL for market study of the proposed smart city. The company is scheduled to submit its report within eight weeks, outlining the viability and broader opportunities of the project. During the MoU signing ceremony, CEO of NIFRA, Ram Krishna Khatiwada, has reiterated NIFRA’s commitment to developing the next generation smart city in the country. He added that the collaboration with the globally renowned infrastructure development consultant will certainly help to materialise this vision to develop the first smart city in Nepal which will be a model for replicating in other parts of the country. Panchkhal Municipality's Spokesperson Lama thanked NIFRA for taking initiatives since the beginning to develop the Panchkhal Smart City. He said that the municipality is committed to providing all support that is required for the development of a smart city. Mohiuddin Mahmud, Deputy Chief Operating Officer- South Asia and Central Asia, from SMEC said the professional experience of SMEC and SJ in developing smart cities will be instrumental for the development of the Panchkhal Smart city. READ ALSO:  
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MARCH 2024

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