A touring exhibition commemorating 60 years of Indo-German Development Cooperation, was opened in Kochi at Municipal Corporation Town Hall on Monday on 25th February’19 by Mr. KR Jyothilal, Principal Secretary, Transport, Govt of Kerala; Mr. APM Mohammad Hanish, MD, Kochi, Metro Rail Corp; and Dr. Christoph Kessler, Director, KfW India.
The exhibition was launched in Delhi in November 2018 by Dr C.S. Mohapatra, Additional Secretary (EA), Ministry of Finance, Government of India and Dr Wolfram Klein, Head of South Asia Division, Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Thereafter, it has travelled to Bengaluru in January and Chennai in February 2019, with its final destination at in Kochi as part of its touring plan.
Organised jointly by the German development agencies Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and KfW Development Bank, the exhibition featured interesting snippets from the history of development cooperation between India and Germany which began in 1958. These development agencies are also responsible for implementing bilateral cooperation on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and other commissioning parties.
In his opening remarks Dr. Christoph Kessler, Director, KfW India reviewed the overall accomplishments India and Germany have achieved together through these years. While highlighting the projects in Kerala he stated, “KfW and GIZ are jointly working on three focal areas: Energy, Sustainable Urban Development and Natural Resource Management. Kochi is a beautiful city and one of our flagship ones highlighting our contribution towards Kochi Water Metro and Smart Cities Project against the backdrop of Indo German Development Cooperation. The German government is also supporting the city for the Kerala Rebuild Initiative based on the principles of Build Back Better”.
In the words of Dr. Syed Ibrahim, Hon. Consul Germany in Kerala, “This exhibition will definitely provide a great insight to German technical collaboration with India. Germany is extensively supporting Sustainable Development in the state of Kerala.”
Mr. KR Jyothilal, Principal Secretary, Transport, Govt of Kerala said, “Under Indo German Development Cooperation, IIT Madras was setup that still is one of the finest institutes in the country. As an alumni of IIT Madras, I am a product of the first ever Indo German Development Cooperation. Dr. Kessler and I came in the city’s first electric auto to the venue, which is a great example of Indo German cooperation and urban mobility in the city. Indo German Development Cooperation will take us to greater heights and Kochi is the tip of the country where the three oceans meet and it will act as the power center in the 21stcentury”.
Mr. APM Mohammad Hanish, MD, Kochi, Metro Rail Corp commented, “This is a great opportunity for the three German Agencies; GIZ, KfW and Fraunhofer Institute to work together for extensive development of this massive republic called India. I am extremely pleased to work with KfW for Kochi Water Metro and GIZ for smart cities project that will transform Kochi’s urban landscape in the years to come.”
Indo-German Development Cooperation laid the roots of its long-standing relationship in 1958. The goal all along has been to achieve sustainable global development and to foster a spirit of progressive partnership and trust. Over this period, we’ve crossed several milestones such as the launch of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1959, the launch and success of the Polio Immunisation Programme in 1996 and the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna in 2008 and setting up a 125-MW solar power plant in Sakri, Maharashtra, to name a few.
In Kerala, the Government of Germany is supporting the city of Kochi under the Government of India Smart Cities Initiative and in the development of the Kochi Water Metro. The water metro project includes 15 identified routes connecting 41 boat piers or jetties across 10 island communities (which will service 500,000 inhabitants) with a 76-km route network. The project is proposed to be fully operational by 2020.
In addition, there are ongoing projects with the Government of Kerala on improving urban sanitation with waste and waste water management, climate-friendly mobility in urban areas and improving watershed management through sustainable use of soil and water resources.
Government of Germany is also supporting Kerala following the devastating floods in 2018 under the Rebuild Kerala Initiative. The German Government has pledged an interest-reduced loan of up to EUR 90 million for the climate-resilient reconstruction of roads and bridges and a grant of EUR 3 million for an accompanying measure to provide capacity building and institutional strengthening.
India continues to be Germany’s biggest development partner with a proven track record of successful project implementation. Both countries are committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to foster a spirit of progressive partnership and trust.