Kerala

7 cities to get ₹1,402 crore to better its services

Seven cities from the State, along with towns and outgrowths adjacent to them, have been chosen as part of the 15th Finance Commission’s Million Plus Urban Agglomerations and will be eligible for a Million Plus Cities Challenge Fund.

The seven cities and the adjacent urban local bodies, all with a total population of above 10 lakh, will be provided total funds of ₹1,402 crore over the next five years, which has to be spent on improving service-level benchmarks, especially in sanitation and provision of clean drinking water.

The seven chosen urban agglomerations are Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kochi, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannur. Kochi will get the maximum share of ₹245 crore, while Kollam will get the least share of ₹128 crore. Though projects for revitalising water sources, rainwater harvesting, recycling of water, and waste management can be taken up, the funds will be provided only based on an evaluation as per Union Government’s guidelines.

In waste management, the first priority has to be to establish a system for collection and scientific processing of waste, while the second priority is to promote alternate waste processing systems.

Dump sites have to be sealed. At least three waterbodies of more than one acre area have to be revived. Projects for recycling and reuse of water, with a 200 million litres per day capacity plant for a population of 10-20 lakh, should be implemented. Water supply projects for uncovered areas have to be taken up.

Each major urban local body (representing an urban agglomeration), the State Government, and the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will have to enter into a tripartite memorandum of understanding, with the targets for each year.

The Ministry will constantly evaluate the progress in each of the sectors. The percentage of grants that the local bodies will get will depend upon the marks in these evaluations. The major urban local body in each agglomeration will serve as the nodal local body and will be receiving the funds on behalf of the region.

A five-year plan has to be prepared for each urban agglomeration. A sub-committee will be formed under the District Planning Committee to coordinate the various activities. A joint planning committee will be formed for preparing the plan in each region. A committee will be formed at the State level to monitor all the activities. Minister for Local Self-Governments M.V. Govindan said in a statement that the implementation of the projects over the next five years would change the face of these cities and the regions around them.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 8:29:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/7-cities-to-get-1402-crore-to-better-its-services/article37706166.ece

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