Kochi to host ‘Partner Kerala’ Urban Development meet

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Trivandrum: Kerala’s Department of Urban Affairs (DUA) is organising a massive investors’ meet next month with the objective of developing basic infrastructure in major cities through public-private partnership.

The two-day ‘Partner Kerala’ meet, to be held in Kochi on December 19-20, 2013, is an attempt at mobilising resources for cash-strapped corporations that are unable to keep pace with the rising demand for amenities in rapidly expanding cities.

Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy published the logo of the event at a ceremony here today in the presence of Minister for Urban Affairs, Shri Manjalamkuzhi Ali.

Hundreds of potential investors from around the country and overseas, and within Kerala, are expected to take part in the meet which will showcase investment opportunities across a number of areas, Manjalamkuzhi Ali informed. These include necessities such as waste management, sewerage, flyovers, bridges and parking lots, bus terminals, comfort stations and markets; amenities like shopping complexes, convention centres and multiplex cinema halls and amusement parks, besides parks, town beautification, street lights and hoardings. Projects best suited for the layout, density and geography of each city will be presented at the event.

The city corporations are forced to rely on financial support from the government for their day to day operations. Nearly half of them depend on state funding to pay salaries and pensions to employees, which means they struggle to invest in infrastructure and other development activities. This has been holding back the growth and modernisation of schools, hospitals and other critical or essential services managed by local bodies. The crisis has prompted the corporations to explore public-private partnership model as a means to mobilise resources and raise the capital required to execute city development projects.

The Department of Urban Affairs (DUA) is hoping that the upcoming meet, organised along the lines of the ‘Emerging Kerala’ event, will attract investments into projects intended at developing basic infrastructure from socially-committed investors.

Each of the city corporations has, for the past three months, been working to develop project proposals for presentation at the meet. The DUA has published a list of experts to assist the corporations in the exercise. The city governing bodies will be responsible for ensuring that the projects they implement have public acceptability.

Kerala Biz News

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