ALUVA: “The need of the hour is to implement an integrated development approach by factoring in the ongoing construction of Metro rails and the existing transport hubs in Aluva,” said Roger Savage, director at WS Atkins, who was here as part of an Indo-UK technical assistance workshop for Future Proofing Aluva municipality.
The team of delegates from UK, comprising British Deputy High Commissioner Bharat Joshi, spoke to ‘Express’ prior to the unveiling of a plan for the development of Aluva on Thursday.
The decision to develop a 50-year plan for Aluva first took shape after a visit of Prince of Wales Charles to six states in India. Kerala was one among the states he visited and Aluva was among the 140 cities selected. “The workshop held on Wednesday brought together a wide range of stakeholders interested in the development of Aluva. Connectivity is a major advantage as far as Aluva is concerned. Its proximity to the Periyar river poses both risks and opportunities. A major risk being the onslaught of floods during rainy season. Future proofing is, in every sense, very important for negating climate changes. Existing infrastructure could also be tweaked to entice visitors to stay in Aluva longer,” said Roger.
The team pointed out that Aluva was gifted with great natural beauty and had the necessary basic infrastructure. “Efforts to pull all these resources together must be given the priority,” it said.
Deputy High Commissioner Bharat Joshi noted that the British government was highly optimistic about the response that it received from the authorities in Aluva. “Proper waste disposal is very important for Aluva. Areas of high levels of pollution must be identified. Certain channels in Periyar must be cleaned and recycling of waste materials be made a reality,” he said, and added that the team has not yet identified any permanent solution.
Another mission was sustainable development attainable by minimising the carbon emissions. “Motorisation is improving as a trend. There is a need to promote pedestrian transport, cyclists and the usage of public transport mechanisms so as to bring about a sustainable change,” the delagation said, adding that low carbon design equipment such as solar panels could be installed. The need for bringing about a change in traffic congestion and the road networks also figured in the discussion. At several junctures, the delegates emphasised that sufficient care would be taken to ensure that the heritage of Aluva would be preserved in its intrinsic form.