KOCHI: Finally, the Kochi Smart City Mission project has got its project management consultant. The New Delhi-based IPE Global Ltd, which was appointed on Thursday, will design, develop, manage and implement various programmes under the Smart City Mission. An agreement was signed on Thursday between the officers of Kochi Smart City Mission Ltd and IPE Global. The project consultant’s appointment is crucial since Kochi has been lagging behind the other cities in launching various mission projects. The agreement was signed between Kochi Smart Mission CEO A P M Mohammed Hanish and IPE Global Ltd director Anilkumar Bansal.
“We hope the project reports will be drafted soon. The implementation work is expected to be launched by this year-end,” Hanish said. Smart City Mission Ltd general manager R Raji was also present on the occasion. Meanwhile, the project consultant will be responsible for drawing up the detailed project report(DPR) for the entire 83 proposals included under Smart City Mission projects. The agency will also be entrusted with project management and supervision of the project. The project area, includes Mattanchery and Fort Kochi in West Kochi area, Marine Drive, Broadway and MG Road in the city centre. Kochi had figured in the first list of 20 cities announced by the Union Government for ‘Smart Cities Mission’ in January 2016.
The Union Government had made a recent observation about some cities having made tremendous progress in the mission initiative while the others were struggling at a primary planning stage. The Union Cabinet had allocated `98,000 crore as the Central contribution so far for the 89 cities which have been selected for the Smart City Mission. In Kochi, some of the components are progressing well while others are remaining non-starters. Now, with the appointment of the project consultant, the authorities concerned hope the integrated project management will become smoother. “For implementation of the projects, along with DPR preparation, we will have to carry out surveys and studies.
After the appointment of the agency, it will be completed in a time bound manner. The agency will also check other factors like availability of land, acquisition possibilities and rehabilitation and resettlement issues,” said an officer. The agency is also expected to look into the feasibility and probability for environmental issues if any. It will also coordinate with various stakeholders of Smart City Mission, including City Corporation, KWA, PWD and other development agencies in the city. The management consultant will also float the tenders and control the bidding process to identify contractors for carrying out the work. Meanwhile, the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has undertaken nearly 15 per cent of the total projects planned under the Smart City Mission.
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