One lakh saplings to be planted under ‘Green Cover for Kochi’ programme
With an eye on earning carbon credit for Kochi, the civic administration will undertake mass planting of saplings in the city. The programme, titled ‘Green Cover for Kochi’, is one of the initiatives announced in the annual Budget of the corporation presented on Saturday. One lake saplings will be planted under the programme.The project, for which Deputy Mayor T.J. Vinod has earmarked Rs. 10 lakh, will be implemented with the support of residents associations, Forest Department, and educational institutions.‘One Individual-One Tree’ is another campaign that exhorts residents to plant at least one sapling each in the city.
Again, the civic body is pinning hope on residents associations and educational institutions for implementing the programme. The budgetary support for the initiative will be Rs. 5 lakh.Though the corporation has not been successful in enforcing rainwater harvesting in houses and other buildings, the Budget makes it mandatory for all buildings with area of 2,000 sq.ft and above.Besides, bio-gas and solar water heating units will be made mandatory for houses, the Budget says. The civic body has promised 10% tax rebate for such houses. The rebate can be taken up in consultation with the State government.Meanwhile, the corporation has decided to continue its campaign for setting up bio-gas units in city households in the next financial year too.An allocation of Rs. 40 lakh will be utilised for setting up such units.In yet another initiative, the Budget proposed documentation of public wells, ponds, and other waterbodies in the city and steps for improving the quality of drinking water available in ponds and other waterbodies. The financial allocation for the project is Rs. 10 lakh.
A conservation programme for Mangalavanam, titled ‘Mangalavanam Restoration Programme’, has been proposed in the Budget. The project will be implemented as part of the Smart City project, and the civic body will spend Rs. 25 lakh on it.A project for linking solar power generated from panels installed at houses to the power grid has also been envisaged in the Budget. An exhibition centre featuring solar power projects and allied areas will be established.