The city’s makeover mission is ready to shift to top gear.
A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to implement the Smart Cities Mission project in Kochi will be formed in 10 days. A Government Order on setting up the SPV was issued on Friday. An IAS officer would be soon appointed as full-time chief executive officer of the SPV.
“We hope to form the SPV by March 16. The process of registering the SPV under the Companies Act, 2013, will be done in 10 days,” A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish, Secretary, Local Self- Government Department and Mission Director of the project, told The Hindu on Sunday.
“We expect to receive the first instalment of support of Rs. 200 crore from the Government of India in April along with a matching share from the State government and the urban local body. Once it’s received, work on preparing the detailed project reports by engaging various consultants can be completed before June. The project can then take-off as planned by June 25,” he said.
Explaining that the government had sought the co-operation of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), Bangalore, for technical assistance, Mr. Hanish said the institute would help in fine-tuning the project proposals.
“We have already submitted a refined project document after making corrections, additions and deletions to the original proposal based on a directive from the Ministry of Urban Development to improve it,” he said.
Pointing to the apprehension over levying user charges from people for the services provided as part of the project, Mr. Hanish said “it may not be required as fund mobilisation can be done without taxing the people”.
The SPV will mobilise resources within timelines and take necessary measures for capacity-building activities as per the guidelines issued by the Centre. It will have complete operational freedom to execute the Smart City proposals.
“One of the primary reasons for the creation of an SPV for the Smart City Mission is to ensure operational independence and autonomy in decision-making and mission implementation,” it said.
Source: The Hindu