Kerala urban affairs department seeks investors for projects

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 20 : Kerala's Department of Urban Affairs (DUA) is organising an investor meet next month with the objective of developing basic infrastructure in major cities through public-private partnership.

The two-day "Partner Kerala" meet at Kochi's Le Meridien Convention Centre begins Dec 19 and will try to mobilise resources for cash-strapped corporations and municipalities unable to keep pace with the rising demand for amenities.

Kerala has five corporations, 60 municipalities and five development authorities that will showcase investment opportunities for the investors, expected to arrive from within the country and abroad.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Wednesday released the event logo in the presence of Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali.

"Investment opportunities are in areas of waste management, sewerage, flyovers, bridges, parking lots, bus terminals, comfort stations, markets, shopping complexes, convention centres, multiplex cinema halls and amusement parks, besides parks, town beautification, street lights and hoardings," said Ali.

This event is being organised as the biggest challenge facing local governing bodies is the lack of funds to upgrade and modernise infrastructure.

"These bodies are forced to rely on financial support from the government for their day-to-day operations. Nearly half of them depend on state funding to pay salaries and pensions to employees, which means they struggle to invest in infrastructure and other development activities. This has been holding back the growth and modernisation of schools, hospitals and other critical or essential services managed by local bodies," said Ali.

Each of the city corporations has, for the past three months, been working to develop project proposals for presentation at the meet.

--IANS (Posted on 20-11-2013)

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