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Kochi Municipal Corporation (Cochin): Administration, Citizen Services and Complaint Registration

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Kochi Municipal Corporation (Source: kochicorporation.lsgkerala.gov.in)

Kochi Municipal Corporation (KMC) is the municipal body that governs the city of Kochi, also known as Cochin, in Kerala. KMC was formed on 1 November 1967 by merging the municipalities of Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, and Ernakulam. The Cochin Corporation is responsible for providing various civic and public services to the citizens of Kochi, such as water supply, sanitation, waste management, health, education, urban planning, infrastructure, taxation, and social welfare.

The corporation serves the most populous and densely populated city with a population of 677,381 and an area of 94.88 km sq.

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Administrative Structure

KMC is headed by a Mayor, elected by the 74-member council for a term of five years. The council consists of elected representatives from each of the 74 wards of Kochi that also elects a Deputy Mayor for the administration of the municipal corporation.

The executive wing of KMC is led by a Secretary (also known as the municipal commissioner), appointed by the state government. The Secretary is assisted by various department heads and staff, who are responsible for implementing the policies and decisions of the council.

The Secretary also acts as the link between the council and the state government and coordinates with other agencies and stakeholders involved in the urban governance of Kochi.

Departments of Cochin Corporation

The KMC is organized into numerous departments to effectively handle the multifaceted responsibilities of the city’s administration. Some of the key departments include:

  • Revenue: For collecting various taxes and fees from the citizens, such as property tax, professional tax, entertainment tax, advertisement tax, rent, and license fees including issuing certificates, building approvals, etc.
  • Engineering: Responsible for planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining the public infrastructure and facilities in Kochi, such as roads, bridges, water supply,  drains/sewerage, street lights, parks, playgrounds, markets, community halls, and public toilets.
  • Health: Provide preventive and curative health care services, such as immunization, family planning, maternity and child care, disease control, and health education. It also manages health centres, dispensaries, hospitals, and mobile clinics in Kochi, organizes health camps and regulates the food safety and sanitation standards.
  • Town Planning: For preparing and implementing the master plan and the detailed development plans for Kochi, per the Kerala Municipalities Act, 1994 and the Kerala Town and Country Planning Act, 2016. It also takes action against unauthorized and illegal constructions and encroachments in Kochi.
  • Welfare: Implements various social security and pension schemes, such as the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, the National Family Benefit Scheme, the Kerala Social Security Pension Scheme, and the Kerala Destitute Widow Pension Scheme. Also manages old age homes, orphanages, rehabilitation centers, and night shelters.
  • Education: For running and managing various schools, colleges, and libraries and implementation of educational schemes and programs, such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Scholarships, the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, and the Samagra Shiksha Kerala.
  • Accounts: For maintaining the accounts and finances of KMC, by preparing and presenting the annual budget, the income and expenditure statements, the balance sheet, and the audit reports.
  • Administration: This department is in charge of the general administration and management of KMC, by handling the personnel and human resource matters, such as recruitment, training, promotion, transfer, and discipline of the staff of KMC.

Public and Citizen Services

The Kochi Municipal Corporation provides a range of essential public services to residents and visitors of Kochi, such as:

  • Online Services: Citizens can access various online services, such as paying taxes and fees, applying for certificates and licenses, filing complaints and suggestions, tracking files and applications, viewing meeting minutes and reports, and downloading forms and notices.
  • Citizen Service Portal: Where the citizens can register and log in to access various services, such as booking community halls and markets, applying for building permits and trade licenses, viewing property tax details and payment history, and updating personal and contact details.
  • IBPMS: KMC has implemented the Integrated Building Permit Management System (IBPMS), which is a web-based platform for online submission and processing of building permit applications. Residents can also apply to the town planning department, the fire and rescue department, the airport authority, the pollution control board, and the heritage conservation committee.
  • File Tracking: Citizens can track the movement and status of their files and applications submitted to KMC, by entering the file number and the mobile number.
  • Elected Members: The citizens can contact their respective ward councillors for any issues or grievances related to their wards, or for any suggestions or feedback for the improvement of the municipal services.
  • Tenders: The interested bidders can download the tender documents, submit their bids online, and view the results of the tender evaluation and awarding.
  • Property Tax: Citizens who come under the property tax slabs, can pay their taxes using the online e-payment portal.

Profession Tax:

KMC collects professional tax from the persons engaged in any profession, trade, calling, or employment in Kochi, as per the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994 and the Kerala Municipality (Profession Tax) Rules, 1996.

The profession tax is levied based on the income and the category of the profession and ranges from Rs. 120 to Rs. 2500 per half year. Professional taxpayers can register online, file their returns, and pay their taxes online, through the KMC website.

Register a complaint to Kochi Municipal Corporation

KMC has a grievance redressal system, where the citizens can register their complaints and suggestions to KMC, regarding any issues or problems related to the municipal services or facilities.

Citizen services and grievance cell of Kochi Municipal Corporation
Citizen services and grievance cell of Kochi Municipal Corporation (lsgkerala.gov.in)

The citizens can register their complaints and suggestions online, through the KMC website or the mobile app, or offline, by visiting the KMC office or calling the toll-free citizen helpline number. The contact details of the Cochin Corporation are as follows:

If your concerns are not resolved to your satisfaction, escalate the unresolved matter by lodging a public grievance with the Appellate Authority of the Urban Development Department through the “Chief Minister’s Public Grievance Redressal Cell (CMPGRC)” of the Government of Kerala.

Challenges Faced by Kochi Residents

As a port city, Kochi faces various issues and challenges related to urban development, environmental degradation, and social justice. Some of the major problems faced by the residents are:

  • Flooding: Kochi is prone to frequent flooding during the monsoon season, as well as due to high tides and storm surges. The city’s drainage system is inadequate and many canals, streams, and wetlands have been encroached or polluted. Flooding affects the lives and livelihoods of the people, especially the poor and marginalized communities living in low-lying areas and slums.
  • Waste management: Kochi generates about 600 tonnes of solid waste per day, but lacks proper facilities for collection, segregation, and disposal. Most of the waste ends up in open dumps, landfills at Brahmapuram, or water bodies, causing health hazards, environmental pollution, and aesthetic problems.
  • Traffic congestion: The city has a high population density and a growing number of vehicles, but a limited road network and public transport system. The city suffers from severe traffic congestion, especially during peak hours, leading to increased travel time, fuel consumption, air pollution, and noise pollution.
  • Loss of livelihood: Kochi’s rapid urbanization and industrialization have also resulted in the displacement and loss of traditional occupations for many people, especially the shore communities and fisherfolk. The construction of various projects, such as the LPG terminal, the metro rail, and the container terminal, have affected the land rights, fishing rights, and cultural identity of these communities, who have been protesting for their rights and rehabilitation.
  • Lack of infrastructure: Kochi also faces a lack of basic infrastructure and amenities, such as water supply, sanitation, electricity, health care, education, and recreation. The city has a high demand for more housing, especially for the old residents and the migrant workers, but faces a shortage of affordable and quality housing options. The city also lacks open and green spaces, which are essential for the well-being and quality of life of the people.

These are some of the major issues and challenges faced by Kochi residents, which require urgent attention and action from the authorities such as the municipal corporation, district administration, urban development department, the civil society, and the citizens themselves.


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