Corporation of Cochin


Corporation of Cochin
Corporation of Cochin
കൊച്ചി കോര്‍പ്പറേഷന്‍
Logo of Corporation of Cochin.jpg
State Kerala
Districts Ernakulam
Area 94.88 km²
Population (2001 census) 596473
Density (2001 census) 6287/km²
Codes
  • Postal
  • Telephone
  • Vehicle
 
682 0xx
+91-484,
KL-07
Time zone IST (UTC +5:30)

Corporation of Cochin (കൊച്ചി കോര്‍പ്പറേഷന്‍) is the municipal corporation that manages the Indian city of Kochi (formerly known as Cochin). The Corporation manages 94.88 km2 of city limits of Kochi city. It is the second largest city corporation in Kerala after Thiruvananthapuram Corporation by area and population. It is the most densely populated corporation in the state.[1].

Contents

History

The Corporation of Cochin was formed on November 1, 1967 merging municipalities of Fort Kochi, Mattancherry and Ernakulam. The municipalities of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry were one among the oldest in the country.

The map of Fort Kochi City Municipality under Dutch with Fort Stormburg (Kochi Fort) seen below. This was the first municipality in the country formed in 1664

The Fort Kochi had its first municipality established under Dutch influence on April 18, 1664 which was limited within Dutch occupied Kochi Stormburg Fort (Immanuel Fort). This was the oldest municipality recorded in Indian sub-continent. However with handing over Kochi to British as part of Anglo-Dutch treaty, the municipality of Fort Kochi was disbanded and most of the local administration were carried out Pandara officials (Revenue department of Kochi Kingdom). The Ernakulam town was under direct protection of British Resident of Kochi. A municipality under chairmanship of British Resident was commissioned in 1823 to administer Ernakulam town. However it doesn't represent any local population, as it consist of military officials of British East India Company.

Much of Kochi's progress in local administration came under reign of Maharaja Rama Varma along with support of Diwan Sankunni Menon. Under his reign, the Fort Kochi Municipality was re-instituted on November 1, 1866 [2]. This was first modern municipality in the state and also the first native (not under British India) municipality of the country. In year 1873, Mattencherry areas were demarcated out of Fort Kochi and a new Municipality board was formed. The British government handed over Ernakulam Town to Kochi Kingdom in 1890 under the pressure of Maharaja Rajarishi Rama Varma. He was considered as father of modern Ernakulam Town due to his foresight approach in making the town, one of the leading cities of South India. In 1896, the Maharaja announced establishment of Municipal board for Ernakulam town with 4 members from Palace, 2 members from local communities, one Englishman and 2 members from other religious minorities. The Mayor was nominated by Maharaja. These were the first step towards establishing a modern municipalities in the city.

After independence, these 3 municipalities remained and was brought under Indian laws. In 1956 the erstwhile Elamkulam Panchayat and a portion of Cheranallur Panchayat (Pachalam - Vaduthala) were amalgamated to the Ernakulam Municipality. In 1962 a portion of Palluruthy Panchayat (Mundamveli area) was amalgamated to the then Mattancherry Municipality. Edappally Panchayat was formed in 1946 and Palluruthy and Vyttila in 1953.

The idea behind the formation of Cochin Corporation[3] was first shaped in the Mattancherry Municipal Council. The Council passed a resolution requesting the Government to form Cochin Corporation amalgamating the Municipalities of Ernakulam, Mattancherry and Fort Cochin on the 9th July, 1960. However then the Fort Cochin Municipal Council strongly opposed to the proposal and declared that Fort Cochin was against any such formation. However Kerala State Assembly approved the proposal of Cochin Corporation. Govt. of Kerala as per their order G.O. (MS) 276/67/DD dt. 27/9/67 notified the formation of the Corporation of Cochin by amalgamating the three ancient Municipalities of the state, viz. Ernakulam, Mattancherry and Fort Cochin and the Willington Island and four Panchayats viz. Palluruthy, Vennala, Vyttila and Edappally and the small islands of Gundu Deepu, Ramanthuruth having an area of 83.524 km2. The new born Corporation came into existence on 1 November 1967.

Structure

The corporation is headed by a Mayor. The current Mayor is Tony Chamminy. The city is divided into 74 administrative wards, from which the members of the corporation council are elected for a period of five years. The corporation has its central office situated in Ernakulam and has zonal offices at Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Palluruthy, Edappally, Vaduthala and Vyttila.

For the purpose of administration, the corporation is divided into different departments, each catering to a different aspect of the city's development and welfare. The Personal Department takes care of the general administration of the city. The various departments include that of Town Planning, Health, Engineering, Revenue, Accounts and the Council Section. The corporation has a Janaseva Kendram (meaning centre for people's service), that addresses the issues of the public. The corporation also operates eight maternity and child welfare centers in the city.

Flag and Emblem

The Flag of Cochin Corporation with its Blue and White colours

The flag of Kochi Corporation is divided by a left diagonal with white forming the upper part symbolizing the city and blue forming lower part symbolizing the seas. The Emblem was adopted in 1970 which has a huge Ship in center of its crest symbolizing the maritime history of the city.

Naming

The official name of the body is Corporation of Cochin, as the city was known in its colonial name Cochin in 1967. Though the state government renamed the city back to its original Malayalam name, Kochi, the corporation still continues to use the original name.

Geography

The Kochi City is located in 9.977°N 76.27°E. It is located in relatively flat coastal plain. Much of the area is ‘plain’ land having natural facilities of drainage via backwaters, canals and rivers. Cochin Taluk is divided into two blocks by the Cochin Azhi (backwaters), viz. Vypeen Kara on the northern and Fort Cochin to Chellanam on the southern sides. The seacoast, about 30 miles (48 km) in length, falls entirely in the Cochin Corporation. The Cochin Harbour, a major natural harbour, is also situated in this limit. A portion of the Vembanad Lake falls within Cochin Corporation.

Demography

The Kochi City has a population of 596,473 as per Indian Census 2001. Kochi witnessed a rapid population growth during the past 30 years. The average decadal growth in Kochi Corporation is 7.83% whereas the nearby municipal areas registered decadal average of 18.65%, and the adjoining panchayaths had an average decadal growth of 12.13%. The Sub-urban areas around the city is showing high rate of population growth and also fast developing trends. The literacy rate is 95.5%

Issues

The main issue which Cochin Corporation faces is that much of the modern city has developed outside the official city limits which was last defined in 1967. As a result, the extended urban agglomeration grew much more than any other city of India, leaving the corporation dry in resources. As Kochi is a major industry and thriving modern port-city, it required much more strong leadership and plans, which till now never materialized. The city grew in unplanned way without any masterplan creating more problems. As most of the town-planning agencies like transport, electricity, water distribution were managed by Kerala Government, the Kochi Corporation failed in co-ordinating various agencies implementing various projects. Apart from all these, much of the infrastructural development funds for the city were given to Greater Cochin Development Authority which often creates administrative clashes and issues over implementation.

One of the major issue which the city faced earlier was waste management which aggravated in 2002, which was successfully solved by commissioning Brahmapuram Waste Management Plant. The current major problem which the city faces is the poor state of transport due to lack of wide roads and Corporation's inability in making land acquisition.

References

External links


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