Kochi is State’s choice for Smart City

Kochi Corporation is Kerala’s choice for Smart City.

The State government has nominated Kochi City Corporation as its choice from among the five municipal corporations for the 100 Smart Cities programme of the Union Ministry for Urban Development. The decision to nominate Kochi was conveyed to the ministry on July 30, Jiji Thompson, State Chief Secretary, told The Hindu .

The Kochi Corporation beat the State capital Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur in the City Challenge round, as prescribed by the ministry.

The city selection was made through an independent and transparent process. An external consultant was roped in to assess the claims of the contestants.

The service of the agency was utilised to ensure fairness and transparency in the selection process as all the municipal corporations were keen on getting the nomination, said Mr. Thompson.

The ministry has offered to extend Rs. 100 crore-support each for the 100 select cities to improve the urban infrastructure and to introduce smart solutions in various walks of urban governance including e-governance and citizen services, waste, water and energy management and urban mobility. In the first phase, 30 cities may get the assistance.

Going by the ministry guidelines, Kerala was allotted just one smart city. The 100 smart cities would be distributed among the States and Union Territories based on a formula which would give “equal weightage to urban population of the State/UT and the number of statutory towns” in them.

V.R. Raju, secretary of the Kochi Corporation, said the local body had scored 90 marks out of 100 in the selection process.

Thiruvananthapuram came second followed by Thrissur Municipal Corporation. The only segment in which the city lost out to its rivals was in the implementation of the projects under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission as it had only a municipal solid waste treatment plant to project.

The utilisation of plan funds for various development projects gave the city an edge over its rivals, he said.

Incidentally, the State submitted its application on the penultimate day of the deadline for filing the nomination. Subsequently, the ministry asked for the details of the meetings held for finalising the city and also the selection process.

The ministry also confirmed the receipt of the documents, thus completing the first round of the selection process, said Mr. Thompson.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 7:46:15 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kochi-is-states-choice-for-smart-city/article7494259.ece