Signalling the groundwork for a twin-city agreement with the Chinese city of Jiaozhou, the standing committee of Rajkot Municipal Corporation on Monday cleared a proposal to set up a panel for the same.
At its weekly meeting, the standing committee cleared the proposal moved by the office of Rajkot Municipal Commissioner, Banchhanidhi Pani, urging it to get the nod of RMC general board to appoint the municipal commissioner as the main coordinator for signing the proposed twin-city agreement between Rakot and Jiaozhou.
The proposal also sought to get a green signal from the general board to authorise Rajkot mayor, chairman of the standing committee and the municipal commissioner to sign the agreement with Jiaozhou, a city in eastern China’s Shandong province.
The municipal commissioner based his proposal on a letter sent by joint secretary of urban development and urban housing department of the state government to the RMC in January this year, directing the civic body to start making preparations for signing the agreement.
“Rajkot figures among the developing cities of India and it is proposed to sign a strategic agreement with Jiaozhou city in Quingdao state of India’s neighbouring country China for cooperation in areas of mutual interests… like service delivery, citizens, administration, land use planning and management, transport, housing, education, culture, sports and games, management of solid waste and waste-water, physical infrastructure, environment, public health, science and technology, tourism, managing historical places, city rejuvenation, city and regional planning and allied matters…” stated the proposal.
To operationalise the agreement, the proposal sought setting up of an authority comprising civic officers and elected leaders of the RMC.
The agreement will be of non-biding nature but can include clauses on making financial provisions for executing projects. The agreement, the proposal said, will facilitate exchange of know-how and best practices.
“The agreement will be valid for a period of three years or until the time either of the party gives a three-month notice to end the agreement. However, termination of agreement will have no bearing on any project under the agreement,” stated the proposal moved by the municipal commissioner.
Municipal commissioner Pani said there were some similarities between Jiajhaou and Rajkot, which was the reason behind the proposal.
“Other cities like Ahmedabad already have similar agreements with other cities. There are similarities between Rajkot and the Chinese city in terms of size, presence of small and medium scale industries, nature of the city, etc. Both are comparable cities and can learn from exchange programmes, workshops and best practices,” said Pani. He said there was no deadline to complete the formality of signing the agreement.
The general board is the highest decision-making body of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation. The ruling BJP enjoys majority in the 72-member board which meets usually every three months. Its latest meeting was held in June.