THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala should develop a settlement policy which would prevent urbanisation into adjacent suburban areas thereby saving eco-fragile and futile farm fields from getting consumed. This has been recommended in the study conducted by the Department of Town and Country Planning with regard to Kerala Urbanisation 2031.
A national seminar on Kerala Urbanisation 2031 held at the Kerala State Science and Technology Museum here on Friday disseminated the findings of the study carried out by the Department.
It’s main highlight being the fact that people are moving out of the city heartlands into the suburban area where development is fast catching up. It points out to the other side of the trend which means urbanisation is consuming the agricultural lands in the suburbs.
A brief of the study says that the trend is not matching with the latest assumptions regarding the decline in the population rise in Kerala.
It also says that Kerala in this aspect is strikingly different from other states where differentiating town and country side are much easier.
The study says that urban clusters would come up in and around the main roads which would gradually turn into urban corridors. In that line, Kerala would have five such urban corridors in the next two decades-Thiruvananthapuram-Kollam corridor, Pathanamthitta-Kottayam, Alappuzha-Ernakulam-Thrissur, Malappuram-Kozhikode and Kannur-Kasargod corridors.
These corridors would avoid areas that are environmentally fragile and used for agricultural purposes. This would enable Kerala to spread its development services to all
corners, the study says. However, added to this finding is another one that says small towns are a requirement in Kerala’s rural areas too. In Kerala’s urban areas, only 4.31 per cent people are engaged in agriculture while in rural areas it is 25.19 per cent. Which means there is no need to find out agricultural spaces in urban places but it should be given adequate space in villages.
As per the study, in two decades, Kerala would be a state with 20 middle-level towns and 86 small towns apart from the urban corridors.
A compact urban form should be the aim of town planning in Kerala, the study concludes.