37% projects submitted by civic bodies from Kozhikode

More than 37 per cent of the projects submitted for the ‘Partner Kerala’ meet to be organised in February in Kochi is from Kozhikode district, Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali has said. The meet is organised to attract investment for public infrastructure projects in the municipalities and City Corporations in the State.

The Minister was inaugurating a seminar organised by the Calicut Development Authority (CDA) on the development of Kozhikode city at the City Cooperative Bank Auditorium here on Monday.

Mr. Ali said that projects to the tune of Rs.8,000 crore had been submitted by various urban civic bodies to the ‘Partner Kerala’ meet. Of this, projects to the tune of Rs.3,000 crore were submitted by the civic bodies from Kozhikode district. “We expected projects to the tune of Rs.1,000 crore at the most, but the response came as a big surprise,” he said.

Stating that one should see 25 years ahead while planning infrastructural projects for cities, he said that no such planning would be possible without proper coordination and cooperation among different agencies and departments.

Financial crisis

Referring to the general financial condition of the civic bodies in the State, Mr. Ali said that though the municipalities and Corporations in the State had assets valued at several crores, most of them were going through severe financial crisis. “Most of them find it difficult even to disburse the salary of their employees,” he said. The ‘Partner Kerala’ meet aimed at bringing about a change in the situation by constructively utilising the available resources of urban civic bodies in partnership with private entrepreneurs, he said.

‘The feasible model’

The Minister, who maintained that the government would only do the job of a facilitator in the materialisation of these projects, said that utilising the PPP model (Public Private Partnership) was the only feasible way ahead in developing the infrastructure of cities. He said that most of the important cities in the State were old enough to get a redevelopment plan and the government had chalked out a customised reconstruction project for each city. “The authorities will have to allow certain relaxations in the existing KMBR (Kerala Municipality Building Rules) for this,” he said.

Panchayat and Social Welfare Minister M.K. Muneer presided.

Mayor A.K. Premajam was the chief guest. A. Pradeepkumar, MLA, and CDA chairman N.C. Aboobacker spoke.

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