Dutch model for flood-prone areas

The ‘Room for the River’ model adopted at Noordwaard in the Netherlands to tackle flooding and ensure the safety of local people will be incorporated in the Rebuild Kerala initiative.

At a press conference here on Monday on his return after the 13-day tour to Europe, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the project, aimed at giving the river more room and thus managing water level during floods, can be replicated in low-lying Kuttanad and Alappuzha.

Describing the tour to the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, and the U.K. as ‘highly successful and beneficial’ to the State, Mr. Vijayan said many projects would be executed by his government through collaboration.

Kerala and the Netherlands would collaborate in several areas, including water management, agriculture, waste management, and maritime sector.

With Rotterdam port

Chief Secretary Tom Jose had been asked to coordinate steps to diversify agriculture, increase the shelf life of plantain in association with Wageningen University, promote ecotourism, and rejuvenate the coir sector. The State intended to enter into a pact on maritime cooperation with the authorities of the Rotterdam port, the biggest in Europe, in October.

Preserving records

Mr. Vijayan said VNO-NCW, the Confederation of Netherlands’ Industry and Employers, had evinced interest in working for Kerala’s development. Representatives of Dutch companies and Chairman of VNO-NCW would be invited to the State.

The Netherlands would collaborate with the State for preserving Dutch records and a memorandum of understanding once approval is received from the Ministry of External Affairs. An exhibition would be held in Kochi on Indo-Dutch relations this year.

The Chief Secretary would hold discussions with Dutch companies Zonta Global and Paques on waste disposal and waste-to-energy projects.

More global aid

The Chief Minister said Kerala’s participation in the World Reconstruction Conference (WRC4) in Geneva had paved way for more international assistance for the State.

A business delegation from Switzerland would come to Kerala and a team from the State would visit that country to attract investment.

On the talks with French economist Thomas Piketty, the Chief Minister said Mr. Piketty was keen on studying the Kerala Model and a nodal officer would be appointed to make data available. “This is a big recognition for the State,” Mr. Vijayan said.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 8:35:19 AM |

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