A string of infrastructural development projects awaits Kochi’s urban and rural folk in the new year. From construction of flyovers at Edappally, Palarivattom and other spots, inauguration of Ponnurunni ROB, musical water fountain-cum-laser show at Rajendra Maidan to renovation of several parks and stations, Kochi is set to witness many dreams coming true.
Metro City in Kakkanad
Kochi Metro Rail Ltd MD Elias George said the metro city project is likely to be launched by 2014-end. The metro city project which is part of the Metro Rail project is expected to generate a large revenue. Shopping malls, theatre complexes, hotels, restaurants have been planned at the 17.5-acre land in Kakkanad. “We want to develop a true model of urban living. Once the Smart city project also takes off, we can expect to see a flurry of activities in Kakkanad, including the arrival of IT persons. Tourists will flow in large numbers which will bring in huge revenue,” officials associated with the project said. The district administration has completed acquisition of the proposed land for the project.
The construction of the Exhibition Centre mooted by the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA), near the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, will take off by February. The construction is expected to be completed within 18 months and Kochi will be able to boast of an exhibition centre of international standards by 2015. GCDA Chairman N Venugopal said that the 98-crore project is awaiting the sanction from the state government. The centre will be constructed in 10 acres of land. Space for 500 stalls, underground parking for 1,500 vehicles and marriage halls are the main features.
The work of the musical water fountain-cum-laser show has already commenced at Rajendra Maidan in December. The GCDA expects to complete it within six months. The existing stage at the maidan will be demolished to set up the musical fountain. A new stage will be constructed next to it. Shows will come alive on a water screen.
Aquarium and Entertainment Park
A tunnel marine aquarium and entertainment park will soon come up near the High Court.
A 7-D theatre, underwater restaurant, children’s play area will be the major attractions. A large wealth of marine life will be on display. N Venugopal, Chairman of GCDA, which has mooted the project said the project would commence in 2014 and would require a total of one-and-a-half years for completion. The seven-storey structure would cost approximately `80 crore.
Bund Road Project Underway
The Chilavanoor-Bund road project which was proposed by the GCDA several years ago finally took off this year. If all goes as per plan, the GCDA is confident of completing the project in 2014. The 4-km road which runs parallel to the SA Road will connect Thevara, Champakkara, through Thykoodam on the NH Bypass. Once the road project is completed, it is expected to resolve the traffic congestion on SA Road and Vyttila junction to a great extent. The initial work of the road project started this month, with the GCDA beginning construction of a 15-metre road linking Shastri Nagar and K P Vallon Road.
Green Cover for City
The year 2013 has seen the axing of several trees to facilitate the construction of the Kochi Metro Rail. However, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has decided to begin an aggressive tree planting drive. By the end of 2014, the KMRL hopes to give a complete green cover for the city. KMRL MD Elias George said that tree planting will begin in the city from January. Several locations, including road sides and parks, have been identified for planting saplings.
Boost for Water Transport Sector
The water transport sector is expected to get a major boost this year, with the Kerala State Water Transport Department and the KMRL planning to introduce at least 10 modern double-hull boats with a speed of 20 kmph in the city. With this ,several new services can be introduced. The existing services can also be augmented. Meanwhile, the KMRL is planning to submit a project report to the Ministry of Urban Development for introducing more boats in the city as part of the Metro Rail preparatory work. The state government funding will also be sought for the purpose.
Transport Network to be Strengthened
Several meetings with stakeholders, including bus owners, the Corporation and KSRTC will be held in 2014 to ensure the development of a single transportation network. Agreements between stakeholders are likely to be signed.
Steps to declog West Kochi
The Kochi Corporation is confident of addressing the water-logging woes of west Kochi. The work will start in 2014. Laying of cables and wires and water supply pipelines, deepening of the Bar mouth at Thevara and desilting of the major canals will be done.
Market and Town Hall Renovation
Several key markets in the city have been identified to be renovated in the city this year - Pattalam, Thoppumpady, Koovappadam, Pachalam, Champakkara and Amaravathi. A total of `32.68 crore has been earmarked for the project. The Ernakulam market will also be developed.The Kochi Corporation also hopes to renovate the Town Hall in the city.