Urban Rejuvenation and Beautification Scheme | Three SPVs to be formed in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode corporations

A representational image of Kaloor-Kadavantara Road, in Kochi. File
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

Three separate Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) will be formed for the execution of the proposed “Urban Rejuvenation and Beautification Scheme” in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode cities.

The scheme was announced in the 2023-24 State Budget with the aim of transforming the face of the six major city corporations of Kerala.

The idea is to create a design strategy to upgrade the standards of the city focussing on conservation of heritage areas and surroundings, improvement of pedestrian infrastructure, equipping public places and recreational areas, improvement of hygiene etc, as per a Government Order issued by the Additional Chief Secretary of the Local Self-Government Department earlier this year.

The estimated primary cost for the is ₹300 crore out of which an amount of ₹100 crore is provided this year through KIIFB (Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board). The project would be initially rolled out in the city corporations of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode.

Funding will be routed IMPACT Kerala Limted, an SPV under local self-government department which will also serve as the nodal Project Management Unit (PMU) of the project. A State-Level Governing Council (SLGC) and City-Level Monitoring Committee (CLMC) will be formed as part of the execution of the project.

At a meeting convened last month by S. Subramaniam, the managing director of IMPACT Kerala Limted, Rajesh P.N., Additional Chief Town Planner, LSGD, outlined the project concept. The meeting was attended by the secretaries of three corporations and secretaries of the Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority (TRIDA) and the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA).

He explained how the three SPVs have been envisaged in TRIDA, GCDA, and IMPACT Kerala Limited in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode respectively. A space of 300-square metre has to be found by all three SPVs for housing the PMUs. The SPVs will prepare the project for approval by the CLMC after which it will presented before the SLGC and KIIFB for approval, said the minutes of the meeting.

The managing director of IMPACT Kerala Limited sought the intervention of the secretaries concerned to bring the deliberations at the meeting to the notice of the respective mayors and other elected representatives.

As per the Government Order, the projects under the scheme may be executed through joint ventures, public-private partnership (PPP), etc. The SPVs shall be able to hire experts in various fields for short duration (one or two months) for their inputs in their field of expertise. The final design standards should be presented to the City Council, and their ownership ensured. GCDA sources said that further clarity about the project is likely in the upcoming meetings.

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