Kochi gets Rs.194 cr. under Smart Cities Mission

With the Centre sanctioning Rs. 194 crore on Friday for Kochi under Smart Cities Mission, the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to oversee its implementation is expected to float the first tender on June 25.

The city’s central business district and West Kochi would get a total of Rs. 2,057 crore under the Mission for urban rejuvenation, aimed at improving quality of life by 2020.

“June 25 is the first anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing the Mission. Priority has been given to waste management, rejuvenation of waterbodies, improving/building pedestrian walkways and cycle tracks,” A. P. M. Mohammed Hanish, Secretary of Local Self-Government (Urban) and the State’s Mission Director said.

The works are expected to kick off from July. A master consultant is currently engaged in finalising the project components for Kochi and the Detailed Project Report (DPR) is expected to be ready by early June, he added.

Other components

The other key components for Kochi’s urban rejuvenation are making available tapped water supply, redesign of streets and laying of ducts, disabled-friendly public spaces, redevelopment of railway stations, augmenting water transport, introduction of e-rickshaws/electric vehicles for last mile connectivity, creating and managing open spaces, integrating different commuting modes and enabling seamless connectivity among them, seamless Wi Fi connectivity, tapping renewable-energy sources, smart lighting, improving security through CCTV surveillance, waterfront development and development of markets.

To a question on sharing responsibility with the proposed Unified Metropolitan Transportation Authority (UMTA) in streamlining different commuting modes, Mr. Hanish said that the SPV will work in tandem with UMTA-Kochi.

The SPV has been floated for quick decision-making and to ensure adherence to high quality in all works undertaken under the Mission. This model of development will be replicated in other parts of Greater-Kochi area in Smart City initiatives taken up after 2020.

Speaking on Kochi Corporation’s role in implementing the Mission, its Secretary Amit Meena who is MD of the Kochi Mission said that the confusion on roles to be played by the civic body and SPV has been cleared.

The government clarified that the Corporation’s roles will not be delegated to the SPV. The SPV will implement different initiatives in coordination with respective departments, he said.

Heritage conservation will be a prime component in West Kochi. In this, even streets that lead to heritage structures will have a unique feel of the heritage monument, Mr. Meena said.

An IAS officer would shortly be appointed as full-time Chief Executive Officer of the SPV.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 9:50:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kochi-gets-rs194-cr-under-smart-cities-mission/article8572121.ece

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