Representatives of the Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation (SDC) visited Rajkot on the 8th of February 2023, to understand how cities mainstream climate planning and to learn more about the city’s progress in implementing the climate-resilient measures that it adopted in its Climate Resilient City Action Plan.
One of the major sectors that contributes significantly to its city-wide GHG emissions is transportation, and Rajkot is taking significant steps to improve it, such as the conversion of the existing 100 diesel-run public transport buses into e-buses, besides planning a programme to improve feeder services in the public transport network, with technical support from the CapaCITIES project team. The SDC delegation, along with the CapaCITIES team and Rajkot Municipal Corporation staff, visited the e-bus charging depot and discussed current infrastructure-improvement initiatives such as the development of a dedicated charging depot for e-buses and smart bus stops that support conversion of all public transport buses into e-buses. They also discussed the necessity for Rajkot to receive support in implementing initiatives to promote e-autos in feeder services to the Bus Rapid Transit System and Rajkot Mass Transport Service to improve first and last-mile connectivity. The integration of 100 e-autos as feeder services into the public transport network has been planned under CapaCITIES through co-financing.
The team also visited the Aji water treatment plant’s 145 kWp solar photovoltaic plant that was implemented as a co-finance project during CapaCITIES phase I. Operational since the 8th of July 2018, the plant is being monitored through a monitoring, reporting and verification framework and its contribution towards reducing the consumption of grid-based energy is being measured. Since its commissioning, the plant has generated 682,740 units (kWh) of renewable energy that has prevented 546.19 tCo2e of emissions. Following the project’s successful operation, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation has scaled it up by adding a 250 kWp grid-connected solar PV system to the Raiyadhar wastewater treatment facility.
Ms. Janine Kuriger, Head, Climate, DRR and Environment Section, SDC Bern; Ms. Cornelia Hett, Programme Officer, SDC Bern; Dr Jonathan Demenge, Head of Cooperation and Counsellor, SDC India; Ms. Lara Vogt, Diplomatic Officer in charge of multilateral affairs at the Embassy of Switzerland in India; Ms. Sakshi Dasgupta Chadha, Senior Advisor, SDC India; and Mr. Anand Shukla, Senior Advisor, SDC India, were part of the visiting delegation. They were accompanied by Mr. Mehul Patwari, Director, Sustainable Finance, South Pole, Mr. Emani Kumar, Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia, Soumya Chaturvedula, Deputy Director, ICLEI South Asia, Mr. Ashish Rao Ghorpade, Deputy Director, ICLEI South Asia, and other staff.