Contrary to INKEL’s claim that the controversial Night Life Zone project at Veli, Thiruvananthapuram, was de-listed from Emerging Kerala last March, an official statement from the office of the Industries Minister on August 25 includes the project along with the other 17 projects. Incidentally, Industries Minister P K Kunhalikkutty is the chairman of INKEL while T Balakrishnan is its managing director.
The press release makes it clear that the term ‘cabaret’ was not a mere ‘misunderstanding’ as termed in the official denial. The proposal clearly says that the “the Family Entertainment Centre (FEC) in Urban Entertainment Centre comprises thematic restaurants, cabaret theatres, discotheques, comedy and jazz clubs, flexible performance spaces, TV and video studios, an art gallery, retail stores and food and beverage outlets.”
It also adds that the FEC will tentatively have the ground floor, in addition to four floors in total and “40,000 sq ft of the terrace of the FEC shall be earmarked for Night Life Zone. The roof is where the late-night action will take place. This might just be the mother of all roof terraces and the concept for the FEC will be ‘grounded in a Kerala context, with lush vegetation’ as a major attraction.”
The statement also mentioned three other projects at UEC, namely Retail Zone, Lakeside Street Experience and Lakeview Deluxe Cottages. All projects have been prepared by INKEL along with a project for investment in commercial space at Standard Design Module at Angamaly and a project for luxury Ayurvedic therapy centres on franchise model at Punalur.
There were four projects in the list prepared by KELTRON, including integrated sonar systems for the naval force, capacity enhancement of radial aluminium electrolytic capacitors, commercial echo sounder, MPP film, along with two projects from KSIDC, PET preform manufacture and a modern rice mill. There were two projects for domestic lights with LED technology and smart card manufacturing unit prepared by United Electrical Industries Ltd, Pallimukku, Kollam, a PSU under the Industries Department.
One project each from KINFRA, Pure Spice Powders and one on knitting and garment by Kerala State Textile Corporation Limited along with a paper cone project at Malappuram Co-operative Spinning Mill, were proposed.