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Chennai gets a sister city in China

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Chennai gets a sister city in China

May 16, 2015

CHENNAI: Chennai has established another sister city relationship, this time in Chongqing in China. This was among the 24 agreements Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed on his three-day visit to the country on Friday.

Chennai Mayor Saidai Duraisamy was present where the bilateral agreements were signed. On Wednesday night, the city mayor left for Delhi on from where he flew to China. Agencies reported that Modi said such agreements reflected a growing mutual confidence to expand bilateral ties. In the context of globalisation, Chennai has been increasingly visible. Last year, the city became part of the 100 resilient world cities network, and Lonely Planet listed it among the top 10 cities to visit.

Hyderabad and Aurangabad are the other two cities to have sister city relationships in China, with Qingdao and Dunhuang respectively. Also, Karnataka and the government of Sichuan will have provincial relations through a sister-state pact.

The sister city movement took off in the 1950s in a bid to enhance city-to-city relationship, culturally and commercially. Chennai Corporation and the municipality of Chongqing, situated in southwest China will look to exchange resources for development on education, environment, urban planning and waste management, besides trying to improve trade. "Chennai expanded recently, and it needs to scale rapidly as many parts of the city still have a long way to become urban," said Raj Cherubal, director (projects), Chennai City Connect. "It is an opportunity for Chennai to learn a lot from this agreement as Chinese cities are good in infrastructure such as road construction, public transport, drain systems and cleaning of waterways."

Chennai Corporation had signed a sister city agreement with San Antonio, Texas in 2008. Mayor Duraisamy and a delegation attended the international sister city conference in San Antonio in July 2013 to set education projects rolling. The second largest city in Texas offered to share its curriculum to strengthen Chennai Corporation's community college programme. Sports also got a boost when NBA champions San Antonio Spurs conducted a one-day basketball workshop for students of the corporation school in Saidapet.

The city corporation had earlier sister city agreements with Denver, US, in 1984, Volgograd, Russia in 1966, and Frankfurt, Germany. Pacts with these cities mostly remained on paper and the relationship fizzled out.

Chennai gets a sister city in China - The Times of India
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