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.
Today the whole world is facing serious climate change issues, as a result of uncontrolled carbon emissions from various sectors mainly transport sector. Our Kochi is one of the areas that suffers the most from its bitter effects. Unscientific transportation is one of the major problems facing Kochi in this regard. Based on this, several projects are being formulated and implemented to make Kochi’s transportation sector more environmentally friendly. The Kochi Municipal Corporation, with a view to address this pressing issue, included a plan to introduce a new policy for freight transport in its annual Budget for the year 2021-22. The project is carried out under the coordination of C-HED with the support of ICLEI South Asia under ‘EcoLogistics: Low Carbon Freight for Sustainable Cities’ supported by International Climate Initiative (IKI) project. As part of the project, a stakeholder consultation meeting was convened on March 24, 2021 to discuss the draft action plan for freight transport in Kochi. The meeting was held in the presence of Hon’ble Mayor of Kochi, Deputy Mayor, Secretary, Councillor Sri. Antony Kureethara, other officials of Kochi Municipal Corporation, RTO, representatives from KMTA, KMRL, various trade and industrial organizations.
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 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. At the Kaloor bus stand, under the metro line and in the suburbs, we can often see many elderly people and women among those who end up on the roadside. In this regard, Kochi Municipal Corporation has decided to prepare and implement a comprehensive plan to address the housing crisis of migrant workers in the city, with the aim of ensuring that no one is left behind or homeless has introduced ‘Rapid Response Policy Engagement – Affordable Rental Housing for Internal Migrant’ project in its annual Budget for the year 2021-22. The aim is to engage with relevant stakeholders to collectively devise a policy for ensuring access to affordable rental housing for internal migrants in Kochi. The project is being 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 in association with the Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development (CMID).
In this regard, the first Stakeholder Consultation Workshop for the project was held on March 5, 2021 under the aegis of the Hon’ble Mayor, in the presence of the Chairs of various Standing Committees of the Kochi Municipal Corporation. Representatives from Labour Department, National Health Mission, Department of Town and Country Planning, GCDA, Kerala State Housing Board and GIZ attended the workshop.
Kochi Corporation in association with Kerala Lalithakala Academy conducted Canopy Art-Holic Art Camp of painters on March 4th -6th, 2021 at the Chatiyath Queens Walkway. The three day camp organised as part of the ambitious Arts Space Kochi (ASK) project had 10 renowned artists brushing the colours of the expression of nature on to the canvas. As the camp progressed for the day, the Hon’ble Mayor visited the camp and exchanged thoughts with the artists. before the camp called it wrap, we also had the City Police Commissioner Sri. C.H. Nagaraju visiting the camp and sharing his hopes and opportunities for the artists to display their work across the 30 police stations in the city. The event was a very interesting start for the Canopy Art-Holic Painters Camp.
The camp was co-ordinated by Centre for Heritage, Enviornment and Development (c-hed). Artists Sajith Puthukalavattom, Shinoj Choran, Sunil Vallarpadam, Amrutha V R, Jagesh Edakkad, K T Mathai, Seeyem Prasad, Sajeesh P A, Uthara Remesh, Vipin K Nair participated in the camp.
As part of the Road Safety Month campaign, Kochi Municipal Corporation (KMC) jointly with Transport Department, Government of Kerala and Kochi Metropolitan Transport Authority (KMTA) have launched the Road Safety awareness event in Kochi on February 16, 2021. The event was supported by Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED) under the initiative ‘Art Space Kochi’ (ASK). The campaign was launched by Adv M Anil Kumar, Hon’ble Mayor of Kochi. The initiative was organized under the ‘Integrated Sustainable Urban Transport Systems for Smart Cities’ (SMART- SUT) project funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) jointly implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), under the umbrella of the Green Urban Mobility Partnership between India and Germany.
The event had an exhibition of a map of Kerala with around 2300 red dots commemorating the lives lost on the road and a ‘tree of life’ celebrating life. Further, Chakyar Koothu and a music concert by Sri. Cochin Mansoor on the themes of safety and life was organised under the ASK initiative. Inaugurating the event the Hon’ble. Mayor Shri Anil Kumar said that improving road safety is one the key goals of Kochi. To achieve that, city needs to improve public transport, walking, and cycling facilities and Kochi is in right direction. All the agencies working on transport policies and projects shall work together with emphasis on improving safety aspects. Appreciating the theme of the event, he mentioned that road safety awareness and education is very important and need of the hour. He mentioned some basic rules on road usage including following traffic rules, usage of helmets by two wheelers and cyclists, using footpaths by pedestrians.
The Chairmen and Chairpersons from the Kochi Municipal Corporation and Division Councillor attended the inaugural ceremony. In addition, officials from KMTA, Shri. Jafar Malik, CEO, Shri. Adarsh Kumar G Nair, Special Officer and Shri. Shaji Madhavan, RTO Enforcement Ernakulam, Shri. Vijayan, ACP, Traffic police, also participated in the event.
As part of Arts Space Kochi a live music events was held at Durbar Hall and Koithara Park in Kochi on February 14, 2021. The performances were done by the music band of young techies named ‘Untagged’. The event was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Mayor Adv. M. Anil Kumar. The event was held in association with Greenix village, Kochi under the coordination c-hed.
The Kochi Corporation has prepared a local biodiversity strategy and action plan which sets 29 goals for the city to achieve on biodiversity conservation by 2025. The city is the first in the country to develop a ‘scientifically informed and participatory’ action plan, according to Mayor Soumini Jain’s message in the plan.
The plan was readied as part of the Integrated Subnational Action for Biodiversity (Interact-Bio) project being implemented in the city by the civic administration’s Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED), which is collaborating with ICLEI-South Asia. The plan is meant to function as a tool that the local government can use to take action related to the conservation of biodiversity and climate resilience. It identifies nine focus areas including islands, lakes, agriculture, green and open spaces, inland waterbodies, marshes and mangroves, and seashore and sandbars. The 29 goals under these focus areas include mapping of agricultural land, identification of new cultivable land, conservation of paddy fields, transitioning to a low emission city and protecting green spaces.
Actions to be taken include setting up decentralised sewage treatment plants, developing a geo-referenced map of inland waterbodies, establishing a special purpose vehicle for management of the Vembanad Lake and sea-wall construction using eco-friendly methods like setting up mangrove nurseries.