The dream of converting Kerala into an entrepreneurial society will take wings from Wednesday with the inauguration of Emerging Kerala by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The emerging metro of the state, Kochi, too is pinning her hopes on the event, which is expected to attract investments worth Rs 50,000 crore for the city. The mega projects that are currently at different phases of execution are also expected to gain from the event.
The various stakeholders of the city’s development too are confident that Emerging Kerala will bring in considerable change in the infrastructure requirements of the city. “Emerging Kerala will bring in new proposals and favourable projects. For the fair execution of the projects, the infrastructure facilities need to be boosted. In other words, the infrastructure upgrading will be undertaken if the projects get implemented,” said Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) chairman K N Marzook.
According to town planners, the potential sectors in Kochi that beckon the investors are IT, solid waste management, energy, logistics and tourism. The ongoing Smart City project (latest cost estimate is at `2000 crore) and second phase development of InfoPark at `2500 crore will offer the investors an opportunity to explore the possibilities in IT sector. “Emerging Kerala is the first step towards long-term development of the state. To channelise investments to the state, we have to create a positive atmosphere here,” said V K Mathews, chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-Kerala Chapter.
The unexplored waterways in the city will offer investment opportunities to the city. “A special purpose vehicle (SPV) should be formed for managing the water transport. If Emerging Kerala can attract investors in this sector to float the company on a public-private-partnership basis, then it will help in the upgradation of the water network.
The existing boat jetties should be upgraded and modernised boats should be pressed into service,” said Corporation town planning standing committee chairman and former mayor K J Sohan.
Experts hope that the logistics sector of the state will witness an investment worth `50,000 crore in the next five years. The sector will also help provide 50,000 direct and same number of indirect job opportunities during this period. “If better infrastructure facilities are provided the growth of the state will be immense. Events like Emerging Kerala are a welcome move since these may prove beneficial for the infrastructure development of the city,” said N A Mohammed Kutty, managing director, Falcon Infrastructures Limited.
With the preliminary works of the Kochi Metro Rail already on course, the authorities should now look into the projects which will offer better connectivity to the Metro Rail. After the first meeting of the reconstituted Kochi Metro rail Limited held here on Tuesday, managing director Elias George too welcomed the projects that will help them offer an integrated transport network. “We will welcome any feasible projects that will offer better road and water connectivity to the proposed Metro Rail,” Elias George said.
Single window clearance
A single window clearance for the projects that will be mooted in Emerging Kerala will help in the speedy implementation of the project. “The Chief Minister has already announced that the projects would be given clearance within 90 days. The advisory committee should be formed and monitor the implementation of the projects,” Marzook said.