World Bank team meets Kerala CM, calls for need to implement e-mobility

World Bank team meeting Kerala Chief Ministe Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday. Photo: Facebook/@PinarayiVijayan

Thiruvananthapuram: World Bank Vice President for South Asia, Martin Raiser, on Friday told the state government to implement e-mobility for developing a green ecosystem in Kerala.

A team of World Bank officials met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet colleagues here and expressed interest in how the state's plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Referring to the rapid urbanisation happening in Kerala that could lead to rising carbon emissions, Raiser said: “One of the areas in which Kerala wants to make further progress is to green its transport system.”

In the meeting, Raiser emphasised the need to implement e-mobility by adopting electric and fuel cell-based electric vehicles.

He said the World Bank's 'Resilient Kerala Programme' to support the state's preparedness against natural disasters, climate change impacts, disease outbreaks, and pandemics was progressing well.

"It clears a number of areas, including the development of forecasting models and translating those into local planning instruments to make sure that local communities can make use of the scientific information to reduce the risk exposure that they face," he said.

He expressed happiness over the progress the state has made in dealing with zoonotic diseases like Nipah.

"I am happy to tell you that Kerala is the most advanced state in India in terms of trying to really create a cross-sectoral local surveillance infrastructure so that new diseases when they arrive, can be very quickly detected," Raiser said.

The World Bank team also discussed with the chief minister the project under preparation to look at the impact that climate change has on agriculture production, and how farmers can adopt more climate-resilient agricultural practices while at the same time, use such opportunities to increase productivity and, as a result, create more jobs in the agribusiness sector.

According to Raiser, the ageing population is going to be one of the major concerns of the state's health sector.

"The population rate in Kerala is very low. The fertility rate is very low. It has a good health system. But the health system needs to adjust to the fact that people are getting older. This is something we talked about," he said.

Meanwhile, the CMO said that the World Bank assured there will be possibilities of cooperation in various projects that Kerala intends to implement with a long-term vision.

It said the World Bank has expressed interest in six priority projects, including power generation through floating solar power plants, green hydrogen valleys at Kochi and Vizhinjam and a green hydrogen production-consumption-export centre at Kochi.

The team was in Kerala for the last three days to review various development programmes being implemented in the state as part of the 'Rebuild Kerala' initiative.
(With PTI inputs)

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