Mayor Soumini Jain has inaugurated CARUS, the Urban Planning research cell of Kerala Urban Development Society (KUDS).
The mayor spoke about her experiences as a novice councillor and how her best efforts were being hampered by execution issues. “The growth of Kochi has happened in an unplanned haphazard manner and that is causing project delays and failures,” she said. “Projects are not being taken up even when funds are available.”
She stressed on the importance of professional planning and called upon expert professionals to take up the challenge. “A paradigm shift is necessary in the way we do things and that can be achieved by a collective effort,” she said.
Ex-Mayor K J Sohan echoed the Mayor’s view on the lack of planning. He also stressed on the importance of providing for the poorest in society. “Our planning failures have been partly due to our inability to understand the social realities of a place,” he said. “Planners should work with local communities to serve their basic needs.”
Industrialist E S Jose spoke about the great changes he has witnessed in the city over the years. “Urban planning, to be effective, should be done in an integrated manner,” she said.
Hari GP, the DGM of Kochi Metro Rail Ltd, gave a short presentation on the various initiatives of the Kochi Metro like Smart Cards, and Seamless Transportation. Ranjith P Dinesh, CEO of Geo Doctor Water Solutions, gave a presentation and live demonstration on how canals, wells, lakes, rivers and ponds can be cleaned using eco-friendly patented products at minimum cost. Anup Joachim T, secretary and founder of KUDS and CARUS welcomed the gathering.