The city of Kochi is an important place of employment for migrant workers in Kerala. The migrant workers in any urban centre are often forced to live in unhygienic and unsafe conditions. The case to some extent in Kochi is the same. They are often denied the access to safe and fair accommodation in the city.
In this regard, the Kochi Municipal Corporation decided to prepare and implement a comprehensive plan to address the housing crisis of migrant workers in the city. With an aim to ensure that no one is left behind or homeless, the Kochi Municipal Corporation introduced ‘Rapid Response Policy Engagement – Affordable Rental Housing for Internal Migrant’ project in its annual Budget for the year 2021-22. The aim was to engage with relevant stakeholders to collectively devise a policy for ensuring access to affordable rental housing for internal migrants in Kochi. The project was spearheaded by the Kochi Municipal Corporation with the technical support of the University of Reading, United Kingdom and coordinated by the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (c-hed) in association with the Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development (CMID).
The policy document prepared as part of the project was presented to the Kochi Municipal Corporation on September 03, 2021 . Prof. Angelique Chettiparamb of Reading University handed over the policy document to Mayor Adv. M. Anilkumar. The function was attended by Deputy Mayor, various Standing Committee chairs, Councillors and Kochi Municipal Corporation officials.
On the occasion of the World Environment Day 2021, the Kochi Municipal Corporation is launching the ‘Kochi Eco Challenge’ (Kochi Eco System Challenge) project in collaboration with District Haritha Keralam Mission and Suchitwa Mission under the leadership of St. Teresa’s College, Ernakulam and C-HED, the Environmental Division of the Kochi Municipal Corporation.
The ‘Kochi Eco Challenge’ is envisioned as a project that aims at the preparation and submission of a scientific plan to identify and document various ecosystem issues within the limits of the Kochi Municipal Corporation and to formulate practical feasible strategies/ follow-up plans for its restoration and conservation. The ‘Kochi Eco Challenge’ project is conceived in line with the theme ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ set forth by the United Nations in connection with the Environment Day 2021.
All educational institutions and student teams under the jurisdiction of the Kochi Municipal Corporation can participate in this challenge. Cash awards will be awarded for the best and most practical proposals selected from the competition entries. School / college level entries will be considered as a separate category. Selected projects will be included in the annual budget of the Kochi Municipal Corporation and implemented.
Proposals must be submitted by November 1, 2021.
The project application and the scientific plan document should be submitted by email to [email protected]
The guideline document for the project is given below :
PROJECT LAUNCH :
The Kochi Eco Challenge was launched in a virtual ceremony on 4 June 2021 by Hon’ble Mayor of Kochi Adv. M Anil Kumar. Eminent actors Sri. Indrajith Sukumaran and Smt. Poornima Indrajith will be the brand ambassadors of the Kochi Eco Challenge project and they were the chief guests on the occasion.The Deputy Mayor Ms. Ansiya, Chairpersons of the Standing Committee Chairs, District Educational officer, Ernakulam, AEOs, officials from the Haritha Keralam Mission, the Suchitwa Mission and distinguished academicians from St. Teresa’s , Maharaja’s and Sacred Heart Colleges spoke on the occasion. The Director of C-HED provided details of the challenge guidelines.
The challenge is open to students of all educational institutions.
TASK FORCE MEETING
A meeting of the Kochi Eco Challenge task force was held on August 04, 2021.
The orientation programme on Kochi Eco Challenge was held virtually on September 20, 2021 under the coordination of Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (c-hed) and St. Teresa’s college, Ernakulam. The orientation programme was attended by more than hundered participants representing different schools and colleges across Kerala.
An emergency service to cater to the needs of COVID patients, especially transport of COVID patients to hospitals, supply of medicines, oximeter, oxygen cylinder and thermometer and to patients houses, etc kick started yesterday in the city. Covid relief works have been on the radar for Kochi municipal corporation and C-HED has been providing backend support for the operations. The” Auto Ambulance ” service is initiated jointly by the Kochi Municipal Corporation (KMC) and Ernakulam Jilla Autorickshaw Drivers Cooperative Society Ltd. (EJADCS), supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH under the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is funded by the ‘SMART-SUT’ project, which is under the Green Urban Mobility Partnership between India and Germany. This initiative is coordinated and supported by the National Health Mission, Government of Kerala, The Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED) and Technovia Info Solutions. Pvt. Ltd. In this regard, a training program for 18 volunteering auto drivers and for supporting staff was carried out at the Ernakulam Town Hall. Safety kits (including PPE kits, masks, gloves, face shield) and medical equipment (like pulse Oximeter, infra-red thermo meter, portable oxygen cans) were also handed over to the team.
The city of Kochi is an important place of employment for migrant workers in Kerala. Workers from Tamil Nadu have been living and working in the city for decades. In addition, workers from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and many more can be found in the city today. The migrant workers in any urban centre are often forced to live in unhygienic and unsafe conditions. The case to some extent in Kochi is the same. They are often denied the access to safe and fair accommodation in the city.
In this regard, the Kochi Municipal Corporation decided to prepare and implement a comprehensive plan to address the housing crisis of migrant workers in the city. With an aim to ensure that no one is left behind or homeless, the Kochi Municipal Corporation introduced ‘Rapid Response Policy Engagement – Affordable Rental Housing for Internal Migrant’ project in its annual Budget for the year 2021-22. The aim was to engage with relevant stakeholders to collectively devise a policy for ensuring access to affordable rental housing for internal migrants in Kochi. The project was spearheaded by the Kochi Municipal Corporation with the technical support of the University of Reading, United Kingdom and coordinated by the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (c-hed) in association with the Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development (CMID). As part of the project, a local stakeholder workshop and an online colloquium were conducted to gather suggestions from various stakeholders across the country on policy making.
In this regard, the Kochi Municipal Corporation has successfully prepared a draft policy document with the support of the technical team. The policy document was presented before the stakeholders under the aegis of the Hon’ble Mayor of Kochi on May 19, 2021. The online discussion was attended by various local and national stakeholders from across the country. Representatives from National Health Mission, Department of Town and Country Planning, GCDA, Kerala State Housing Board and GIZ also participated in the discussion.
An online workshop on ‘Explore Issues and Solutions for Solving Housing Challenges of Migrant Workers in Kochi, Kerala’ was organized as part of Rapid Response Policy Engagement project on March 16, 2021 as part of the comprehensive planning of the recommendations received from the stakeholder workshop held on March 5, 2021.
Hon’ble Mayor Adv. M Anilkumar presented the city’s vision and action plan related to the living conditions of various migrant workers in Kochi. Kerala State Planning Board member Dr. Ravi Raman spoke on issues including policy formulation to be adopted by local governments in this regard. Many experts in this field also participated in the discussion. Presentations were done by the experts in the field, Smt. Banasree Banerjee, Smt. Uma Adusmiley, Smt. Renu Desai, Dr.Binoy Peter, Dr.Angelique Chettiparambil and Mr. Rushil Palavajjhala regarding different models in India and around the world. Experts from inside and outside Kerala analysed and spoke on these models. The online workshop was coordinated by C-HED with the support of CMID and University of Reading, UK.
Kochi, one of the major urban agglomerations in the state is seriously pondering on the need for sustainable energy transition. It has been very proactively discussing and engaging with various stakeholders to identify the opportunities and challenges of clean energy projects within the city. In this regard, the urban energy transition project, the brainchild of the Hon’ble Mayor, intends to take support from relevant State Government agencies like State Planning Board (SPB), ANERT, KSEB, Energy Management Centre and other relevant institutions to identify the high-impact opportunities that can be implemented in the city to align with the state’s sustainable energy policy. The Kochi Municipal Corporation in coordination with the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development and with the support of WRI India organized a stakeholder consultation workshop which was attended by the above mentioned representatives.
The City Biodiversity Index and Illustrated Natural Asset Map of Kochi Municipal Corporation, prepared under INTERACT- Bio project was released by Hon’ble Mayor Soumini Jain.
Kochi is one the very few cities in India who have developed the City Biodiversity Index. The City Biodiversity Index of Kochi has been developed with support from ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, South Asia, through the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature conservation and Nuclear Safety supported Interact- Bio Project. The project is being implemented by ICLEI South Asia in collaboration with Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (c-hed).
The Summer Winter School Program of The Premier Habitat University of India , CEPT for 2019 begins in Kochi. This year the program focuses on Smart and Sustainable Urban Development – Experiences from Kochi, India and Frankfurt, Germany with more than 26 CEPT university Masters students and Town planning officials participating in the same. The week long (Dec 1-7, 2019) program will allow students to interact with key officials, policy makers and major stakeholders of the city to understand the various sustainable initiatives and urban practices in Kochi in terms of affordable housing, urban infrastructure services, urban mobility, public spaces, participatory planning and cultural heritage management. The program is being supported by the German International Development Agency (GIZ) in association with the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development .
The Subhash Bose park which is maintained by the Center for Heritage, Environment and Development is rich in biodiversity. Under the interact bio project, jointly conducted by Kochi Municipal Corporation, c-hed and ICLEI, Mapping, Identification and Naming of trees in Subhash Bose Park were done. A total of 434 trees were identified which included 61 species of 24 families of which 157 are indigenous trees and 277 are alien trees.
The tree naming ceremony and the handbook release were held in Subhash park on the 6th of February 2019. The trees were tied with boards containing their common name, scientific name and their native and the handbook containing details of the trees in the park was released by Justice (retd.) K. Sukumaran, an enthusiast in environment conservation. Mayor Soumini Jain presided over the event which was also attended by Imani Kumar, director, ICLEI- South Asia.