‘Kochi should do much more for sustainable development’

City in fifth position in NITI Ayog SDG ranking

Kochi bagging the fifth position in NITI Ayog’s first SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) urban index study, after Thiruvananthapuram which came fourth, is generally being termed as well-deserved, even as perception is rife that much more needs to be done to improve the quality of life of Kochiites and usher in sustainable development.

Terming it morale booster for the Kochi Corporation and other stakeholders who have been striving to improve the living conditions in the city, Mayor M. Anilkumar said Kochi had scored 72.29 points out of 100, in a survey conducted by the Central Government, based on socio-economic and environmental indicators in cities across India.

“It is proof that works done in spheres like urban housing, integration of commuting modes, promoting pedestrian corridors and bicycling, poverty and hunger eradication, education, gender sensitivity, and a total of 15 parameters paid dividends,” he added.

Rising water level

While lauding the Kochi Corporation for making some breakthrough in containing flooding in the city, former Corporation Town Planning Officer D. Baburajan, who also served as Chief Engineer of Kochi and three other Corporations in the State, said much more had to be done in that direction, since water level has been rising at the rate of over 1 cm every year in the city, during high tides, inundating more areas as years pass by.

“Little has been done to contain mosquito menace and air, water and sound pollution, all of which have a direct bearing on the health of Kochiites and visitors to the city. Untreated sewerage is still let out into drains in most areas, while narrow railway culverts obstruct free movement of water. None is there to effectively coordinate the functioning of agencies dealing with these pressing issues. Many people live in slum-like conditions, while much ought to be done to increase green cover and open recreational spaces. Decision-makers must take a call on providing designs, contractors, and construction materials to the marginalised sections,” said Mr. Baburajan.

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