London: Prince Charles has offered support to UK government's initiative for a major multi-million pound urban development project in Kerala which envisages the growth of Aluva town in the next 50 years.
The project, funded by Britain's Department for International Development (DFID), includes the purification of river Periyar, popularly known as Southern Ganges, waste management and a congestion free road traffic system.
The project will be implemented with the support of multinational companies WS Atkins and The International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism.
The 66-year-old heir to the British throne met a delegation from Kerala's Aluva town to get an update on the master-plan and the project development.
During the discussions, the prince highlighted United Kingdon's expertise in sustainable planning and offered help to solve the growth related issues of Aluva.
The delegation included members of legislative assembly, Anwar Sadat, Aluva Municipal Chairman MT Jacob, municipal councillor, Jebi Mather Hisham and Cochin Regional Town Planner, Pramod Kumar.
"With the UK-aided project, Aluva will be a role model for sustainable urban development for whole India. The British officials will prepare a master plan which envisages the growth of Aluva in the next 50 years and beyond. Aluva will set an example for whole India for urban development," Sadat was quoted as saying by the Asian Lite newspaper.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is planning to clean India's several major rivers including Ganges and Yamuna as most of them are heavily polluted with industrial wastes and fast growing urbanisation.
In 2013, Charles had visited Aluva and stayed at the historic summer palace of the Kochi Royal family along with his consort Duchess of Cornwall Camilla.
The prince accepted a special message of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, conveying the gratitude of state for his visit and for the project.
Aluva, home of Kochi International Airport, was selected due to its strategic location and struggle to cope with the burgeoning urban population.
The DFID projects are getting funds from the British High Commission's Prosperity Fund in India, apart from the state government and the corporate sector like Federal Bank.