This report was published in The Hindu on 11/02/2021
CSES submits recommendations to Mayor
The Kochi Corporation should achieve better service delivery, set standards for services, create more public spaces and make the city an inclusive and women-friendly one, sensitive to the requirements of differently abled people.
These are among a set of recommendations submitted by the city-based Centre for Socio-Economic and Environmental Studies (CSES) to Mayor M. Anilkumar and the corporation council here on Tuesday.
The city corporation must also revamp its website, publish performance reports, create means of information dissemination, manage waste more efficiently and strengthen institutions like schools and hospitals under its watch.
In the submission ‘Towards Making Governance People Centric in Kochi’, CSES said that to make Kochi a better city, the corporation need to work on service delivery, inclusiveness, and development and maintenance of public spaces.
The research centre said its recommendations were partially based on the insights developed during its work with the programme, Kerala Local Government Service Delivery Project, and the recent Fourth Administrative Reforms Commission.
The centre welcomed the e-governance push by the new corporation council by integration of the corporation system with the IKM software.
The corporation must develop a service delivery policy to ensure accountability and transparency in governance. The policy should cover not only direct services but also services from institutions managed by the corporation.
Development of a service standard, constant monitoring of service delivery and publication of service performance are essential to achieving the goals of a better administered city.
While recommending online service delivery, the research institute also called for a total revamp of the corporation website. The improved website should have features to facilitate citizens’ access to services offered by the corporation, contact details of councillors, office functionaries and community workers as well as information on institutions under the corporation.
While the corporation must also work on improving road infrastructure and managing waste efficiently, there is a need to focus on creating adequate public spaces, which appeal to different age groups. A CSES survey of the public spaces and parks in the city showed that many of the spaces were in bad condition. Surveys should be conducted to create future public spaces and a system must be evolved to maintain public spaces with the cooperation of local communities.