KOCHI: The Kochi Corporation is getting global assistance to tackle climate change and flooding and to develop a master plan for its drainage system. To this effect, the corporation has signed an MoU with the European Union to work together on several areas, including climate change and flood management, Mayor M Anilkumar said.
The decision followed an online meeting on Friday between Kochi Corporation authorities and Venu Rajamony, officer on special duty, Kerala Government, Henk Ovink, water envoy, Netherlands Government, Luit-Jan Diikhuis, officer on special duty, Dutch Infrastructure and Water Resources, and Heine Lageveen, Deputy Consulate General. Venu Rajamony is also the former Indian ambassador to the Netherlands. The online meeting was a follow-up of a visit to Kochi early this year by a high-level delegation from the European Union to conduct a study on climate change and flood mitigation, the mayor said.
“A study on climate change and flooding in six Indian cities, including Kochi, is being done by a Dutch company Royal Haskoning. The district collector and I have decided to discuss with them the interim report once it is submitted,” said Anilkumar. “Moreover, at our request, the voluntary organisation, World Resource Institute, has come forward to study the waterlogging issue in Kochi. In compliance with all these reports, a master plan for drainage will be prepared for Kochi. The Dutch Government has promised to intervene to make their studies more efficient,” the mayor said.
In September, the Dutch engineers will be training officials of the Kerala irrigation department. It was also decided that engineers of Kochi Corporation will also be part of it. “This will give our officials a broader perspective on the issue and help them learn advanced technologies used by international authorities to tackle these issues,” he said.
The EU had conducted a workshop on waterlogging and climate change comparing six European cities with Kochi. “Based on our request, the Netherlands authorities agreed to be part of the study. We can utilise their technical assistance in tackling the waterlogging issue,” said Anilkumar. The European Union-funded International Urban Regional Cooperation was launched earlier this year by the Government of India.