Government panel clears infrastructure projects of corporation

Urban infrastructure projects of Kochi Corporation worth Rs.1,100 crore were cleared by the State-Level Steering Committee of the Kerala government for submission to the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

The city has sought the Central nod for a new drinking water project worth Rs. 750 crore for the Kochi Corporation area and the neighbouring municipalities. The project will have an installed capacity of 190 Million Litres a Day. An energy efficient lighting system through which all the sodium vapour lamps in the city would be replaced with power saving lamps was also cleared by the steering committee, which was chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

Each year, the Kochi Corporation shells out nearly Rs. 9 crore as energy charges to the Kerala State Electricity Board for its public lighting system. The corporation has also obtained the clearance of the State authorities for a proposal for protection of water bodies in the city. The total outlay of the project is Rs. 20 crore. These projects were included in the additional agenda of the Steering Committee which met in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

The proposals will later be submitted to the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee of the Mission. The committee will be chaired by the Urban Development Secretary, said a communication issued by Mayor Tony Chammany.

The meeting also gave the green signal to transferring some of the ongoing projects of the city to the transition phase, thereby obtaining three more years for its completion. Going by the schedule, the mission projects will end in March 2014.

The Pachalam, Atlantis and Ponnurunni rail overbridge projects will be modified to be included in the transition phase. These projects will also get a fresh lease of life if the national panel approves the changes suggested by the local body.

The local body had showcased a pedestrian-friendly urban transport system, a surface water drainage project for East Kochi, the upgradation of surface water drainage for West Kochi and improvements to inland water transport system. The other projects for which the Central assistance has been sought include the renovation of the seven public markets, revamping the historic trading area and cultural landscape around Broadway and renewal of inner city core area of Ernakulam and Ernakulam market zone.

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