Urban Beautification Scheme: Forming Three SPVs in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode

Three SPVs to be Formed for Urban Rejuvenation and Beautification Scheme in Kerala’s Major Cities

In a bid to transform the face of the six major city corporations in Kerala, the state government has announced the “Urban Rejuvenation and Beautification Scheme.” Under this scheme, three separate Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) will be formed for the execution of the project in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode cities. The aim of the scheme is to upgrade the standards of these cities by focusing on various aspects such as the conservation of heritage areas and surroundings, improvement of pedestrian infrastructure, equipping public places and recreational areas, and enhancement of hygiene.

The Government Order issued earlier this year by the Additional Chief Secretary of the Local Self-Government Department outlines the design strategy for the project. The estimated primary cost for the scheme is ₹300 crore, out of which ₹100 crore has been allocated this year through the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).

Rolling Out the Project in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode

The project will be initially implemented in the city corporations of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode. The funding for the project will be routed through IMPACT Kerala Limited, which is an SPV under the local self-government department. IMPACT Kerala Limited will also serve as the nodal Project Management Unit (PMU) for the project.

To ensure the smooth execution of the project, a State-Level Governing Council (SLGC) and a City-Level Monitoring Committee (CLMC) will be formed. These committees will oversee the progress and make decisions related to the project.

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A recent meeting convened by the managing director of IMPACT Kerala Limited, S. Subramaniam, saw the participation of the secretaries of the three corporations and the secretaries of the Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority (TRIDA) and the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA). During the meeting, Rajesh P.N., Additional Chief Town Planner of the Local Self-Government Department, explained the project concept and outlined the formation of the three SPVs in TRIDA, GCDA, and IMPACT Kerala Limited for Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode respectively.

The SPVs will need to find a space of 300-square meters each to house the Project Management Units (PMUs). Once the project is prepared by the SPVs, it will be presented for approval to the CLMC, SLGC, and KIIFB. The managing director of IMPACT Kerala Limited has sought the intervention of the secretaries concerned to inform the respective mayors and other elected representatives about the deliberations at the meeting.

Implementation Methods and Expert Hiring

The projects under the “Urban Rejuvenation and Beautification Scheme” may be executed through various methods such as joint ventures and public-private partnerships (PPP). This approach allows for flexibility and collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

The SPVs will have the ability to hire experts in various fields for short durations, typically one or two months. This will ensure valuable inputs from specialists in their respective fields. Furthermore, the final design standards will be presented to the City Council, maintaining their ownership and involvement in the project.

GCDA sources have mentioned that further clarity about the project is likely to be provided in upcoming meetings, indicating ongoing efforts to refine and develop the scheme.

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In conclusion, the formation of three SPVs for the “Urban Rejuvenation and Beautification Scheme” in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode reflects the government’s commitment to transform these cities and enhance their standards. Through collaboration and strategic planning, the scheme aims to conserve heritage areas, improve pedestrian infrastructure, and create better public spaces, among other goals. With the implementation of this project, Kerala’s major cities will receive a significant facelift, benefiting the residents and visitors alike.

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