THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Creating much fuss since the beginning, the issue of the draft master plan for the state capital envisaged for 2031 is taking a new turn with the City Corporation council deciding to prepare it on its own.
In the council meeting on Friday, it was announced that the resolution passed in 2011 asking the Town and Country Planning Department to devise a draft plan for the capital stands cancelled. Now, the engineering wing of the Corporation may be entrusted with the new task. “The Corporation’s engineering wing has the expertise and also a thorough knowledge of the city. Before preparing the draft, we would hear suggestions from the residents by convening ward committees,” said Mayor K Chandrika.
The council meeting started with Kattayikonam councillor G Vinod bringing the matter again to the council’s attention, repeating many of the demands and remarks he made earlier about the master plan. It paved the way for a discussion as more councillors spoke.
When people’s protest mounted, the draft plan was frozen by the government and the Urban Affairs Minister gave the directive to make amendments and release a new draft version. Still, the Corporation did not take any initiative to compile and submit a report on the grievances raised by the councillors to the Town Planning Department and the Special Town Planning Committee formed had not met to discuss it.
The council meeting also witnessed a heated debate over private parties levying unauthorised parking fees in their own plots. Cinema halls, hospitals and star hotels were primarily blamed by the councillors for this infringement. In response, the Mayor said that as per section 475 of Kerala Municipality Act, private parking lots have to pay Rs 3,000 to the Corporation, avail licence and collect parking fee as directed by the civic body. She has assigned the Corporation Secretary to seek legal opinion on the issue and take action.