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Kochi to seek Rs.300 crore for Broadway, market projects

Special Correspondent
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Waste management plan, houses for weaker sections mooted

Kochi will approach the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission for improving the city markets and conserving Broadway.

Projects worth around Rs.300 crore will be submitted to the mission. It had earlier asked the local bodies to submit detailed project reports for providing funds.

The projects, which were presented at a special council meeting of the corporation, included renovation and modernisation of markets at Pattalam, Thoppumpady, Koovappadam, Pachalam, Champakkara and Amaravathi spending Rs. 32.68 crore. A separate detailed project report has been prepared for the Ernakulam market.

The project report prepared by the Cities Development Initiative Asia for a Cochin City Water Transport System will be used for obtaining funding from the mission, according to a presentation at the council.

An urban solid waste management project has been mooted for the city. The detailed project report prepared for the programme has estimated its expense at Rs.30 crore.

The urban planners decided to bifurcate the Ernakulam Market Renovation and Broadway Heritage Conservation projects for the funding. Originally, the two projects were combined together and presented for approval. The projects were separated for ensuring adequate funding of its implementation, Mr. Chammany told the council.

Going by the funding guidelines of the mission, it will provide 50 per cent of the project cost and the State and the urban local bodies will have to raise the remaining funds.

As the urban local body is not in a position to raise its share, it had requested the State government’s help.

A project report prepared by the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre will be submitted for obtaining central assistance for modernisation of the footpaths of the city. Proposals for improving the drainage system of east and west Kochi areas will also be submitted for central support.

The local body is planning to construct housing units for the financially backward section of the society under the Basic Service for the Urban Poor project.

Houses will be constructed using the gypsum panels, Mayor Tony Chammany told the council.

The Opposition councillors alleged that the corporation authorities were abetting the functioning of a hotel on Major Road, Vyttila. Raising the issue, CPI (M) leader K.N. Sunilkumar said that the local body had failed to close down the illegally functioning hotel.

A reply furnished by the local body on an application under the Right to Information Act clearly mentioned that the hotel, which was originally constructed as a residential structure, was functioning without the local body’s clearance, he said.

The Mayor asked the Secretary of the Kochi Corporation to report on the steps to be taken against the hotel at the next meeting of council.

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