Kochi-Kumla bhai-bhai

A twin city for Kochi—far, far away from Kerala

Kochi has a new twin; that too, in far away Scandinavia! It is the Swedish city of Kumla that has entered into

A twin city for Kochi, all the way in Scandinavia.

a twin-city relationship with Kochi. Recently, a visiting delegation from Kumla held discussions with the Kochi city Mayor Tony Chammany, after which it was decided that the two cities would collaborate in mutually beneficial ventures.

The delegation’s visit was a follow up to last year’s conference between the Kochi Corporation and the Swedish International Council for Local Democracy. Currently, they are studying the feasibility of three-year projects in the areas of waste management, drinking water, education, information technology and e-governance.

An opportunity for knowledge sharing and more

The five-member delegation headed by Mayor Katarina Hansson visited the Infopark and met with heads of IT companies. The Kumla city council would be looking at investment opportunities in Kochi. The media reported that the Swedish team was impressed with the infrastructure available at the IT Park and the growth of the IT industry. In return, Kochi could benefit with technology and know-how in areas of waste management and education.

The others in the Swedish team included Mats Hellgreen the opposition leader of Kumla, Marcel Minnegal, the chief of water management, and Anders Larson the chief of waste management.

Kumla, when compared to Kochi is small in size and population. While Kochi city has a population of over 6 lakhs (as of 2012), Kumla’s population is only around 15,000. Sweden itself has a low population density with only 21 inhabitants per square kilometre. Kumla has an interesting history of being a shoemaker town, though now it is better known for manufacturing and communication technology.

In the next three years, the two cities would be looking to make good use of the twin-city status and work closely on projects and create investment opportunities.

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