Focusing its attention on urban public transport sector, the Kochi Corporation has proposed to establish a Metro Cochin Transport Corporation (MCTC) and draw up a traffic master plan for coordinating projects in the sector.
The proposals formed part of the annual Budget that was presented by Deputy Mayor B. Bhadra in the corporation council on Saturday.
The MCTC will be in charge of the management of bus and boat services that the civic administration plans to run in the future.
The proposed corporation will serve as the Special Purpose Vehicle for the low floor AC and non-AC buses to be procured under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The Mission had earlier suggested the formation of SPVs in cities.
The Deputy Mayor earmarked Rs. 1 crore in the Budget for the MCTC.
The formation of the corporation would also help in providing public transport solutions in city areas not covered by the public transport system, she said in the Budget speech. The traffic master plan will get an initial budgetary support of Rs. 10 lakh.
The recent nationwide campaign for protecting women and ensuring better facilities for them found echo in the civic body’s Budget too. The Deputy Mayor has proposed to make Kochi the first women-friendly city in the country through a slew of projects.
The civic administrators are planning the setting up of a lodge for women who come to the city for various purposes.
Though no budgetary allocations have been made for the project, the Deputy Mayor promised to set up the facility in different parts of the city, which would be managed by women. Online reservation facilities and taxi services would be linked to the lodge, she said.
City bus services run by women, counselling sessions and awareness programmes, sanitary napkin vending machines, self-defence clubs, women security committees and safe travel facilities for women employees are some of the highlights of the pro-women projects announced in the Budget.
A new plant for processing e-waste, a project for generating fuel from plastic refuse, decentralised waste management projects, a centralised slaughter house facility and campaign to free the city from plastic menace have also been announced.
The formulation of a sanitation plan for the city with the support of international agencies has also been suggested.
The opposition criticised the Budget as a document, which lacked direction and vision. The Budget documents were cobbled together in an irresponsible manner. The difference of opinion among the civic administrators had reflected in the Budget, said K.J. Jacob, CPI (M) leader in the council.
The civic administrators were silent on many projects that were announced in the previous budget. A project announced by the Greater Cochin Development Authority was also listed as corporation’s project in the Budget, he said.
Keywords: Kochi corporation budget