Ambassador Christian Frutiger, Assistant Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), visited Coimbatore city in Tamil Nadu on the 1st and 2nd of February 2023, to meet the city officials for an exchange on how Indian cities mainstream climate planning and to understand developmental activities undertaken by the city. City officials and the delegation deliberated on opportunities for scaling climate action, the support extended by the Tamil Nadu government to inclusive climate action in cities through the “Nammaku Naame Thittam” programme, challenges of Indian cities in accessing new leading edge technologies and the ambition of Coimbatore city to accelerate climate action.
Mr Frutiger visited the 1.5 TPD biogas plant in ward 69, Lake Periyakulam on which a 140 kWp floating solar power plant has been planned, a sewage treatment plant, a 3.6 MW solar power plant and the Vellalore compost yard.
Mr. Oliver Fink, Minister, Chargé d’ Affaires, Embassy of Switzerland in India and Bhutan; Ms. Janine Kuriger, Head, Climate, DRR and Environment, SDC Bern; Dr Marco Andreu, Programme Manager, Nepal and India, SDC Bern; Dr Jonathan Demenge, Head of Cooperation and Counsellor, SDC India; Ms. Corinne Demenge, Head of Cooperation and Counsellor, SDC India, and Ms. Sakshi C Dasgupta, Senior Advisor, SDC India, were also part of the visiting delegation.
The CapaCITIES team made a presentation to the delegation about the Climate Action Plan and GHG emission inventory of Coimbatore, prepared under the project, as well as Phase I initiatives such as the air quality monitoring station and biogas plant, and quick-win and bankable projects in Phase II such as the floating solar power plant and 100 TPD BioCNG plant.
Representatives from South Pole and ICLEI South Asia accompanied the delegation, while Mr. M Prathap, Commissioner, Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) and Dr. Sharmila, Deputy Commissioner, CCMC, as well as several other senior officials were present at the biogas plant during the visit. At the Vellalore compost yard, the delegation saw the operations of the UPL processing plant and chicken waste plant, as well as the proposed location of the BioCNG plant.
The SDC delegation also met private sector stakeholders involved in the CapaCITIES project at various levels, ranging from project development to implementation, to understand the potential opportunities, needs and challenges for attracting private sector investment towards infrastructure development in cities.
Later, they conferred with Mrs. Kalpana, Hon’ble Mayor of Coimbatore as well as Mr Prathap and Dr. Sharmila about the CCMC’s functions and contribution to various SDC projects, and key government missions such as the Smart Cities Mission and Swachh Bharat Mission.