THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the ruling front aiming for yet another term at the office, the final budget, which will be presented by Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac, will focus more on welfare schemes to impress voters, as per sources. On the eve of the budget presentation, TNIE takes a look at Thiruvananthapuram’s expectations.
While the Light Metro remains a pipe dream for the capital, garbage crisis is another pestering issue for residents due to the lack of a centralised waste treatment plant. The absence of an efficient drain, sewer network and drinking water crisis are some of the many unaddressed issues. President of the Thiruvananthapuram Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) S N Raghuchandran Nair said that the state government should give more thrust to development and basic infrastructure development projects.
“There needs to be a specific allocation in the budget for the development of the capital city in the budget. We need a flood-mitigation project. The authorities haven’t launched phase II of Operation Anantha which is the need of the hour as the city faces flash floods intermittently,” he said. He added that steps should be taken to install 24x7 CCTV cameras spanning all 100 wards to ensure the safety and security of the city residents.
Light Metro project delayed
It has been more than a decade since the capital began dreaming of a rapid transit system to ease transportation woes. In 2012, the government had announced a monorail project for the capital. Unfortunately, after years of planning and project preparation, the state government had to scrap the same in 2014, owing to technical issues. The same year, the state government announced the Light Metro project for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode.
Apart from preparatory works for the metro project and Detailed Project Report preparation (DPR), the project hasn’t made much progress in the capital. However, the government affirmed that the project is still on. Recently, during question hour in the Assembly, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the government has no plan to scrap the light metro projects proposed in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode.
In 2017, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the consultancy, had submitted the revised DPR, as per the Centre’s new metro policy, to the state government. A high-level committee constituted by the state government had vetted the revised DPR and submitted a report in 2018. The chief minister said that the Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation Ltd ( KRTL) board met last October and approved the DPR. According to officials, the DPR is awaiting cabinet nod and once approved, the project would be submitted to the Centre for further clearance.
Due to the delay in the execution of the Light Metro, the project cost has escalated. As per the current estimates, the project will cost around Rs 4,673 crore. The construction of flyovers proposed at Sreekaryam, Ulloor and Pattom as part of the preparatory works of the Light Metro project is progressing at snail’s pace. The chief minister had promised that there would be no hurdles in the execution of the projects. The state government had given administrative sanction for Rs 272.84 crore under Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board.
Light Metro via Technopark, nod to prepare DPR
The state government has given the nod for the feasibility study submitted by Urban Mass Transit Company Ltd (UMTC), the Gurgaon-based company roped in by the KRTL, for including Technopark in the alignment of Light Metro. According to official sources, the detailed project report prepared for the new alignment will begin soon. It is learnt the government will rope in an agency for preparing the DPR. According to officials, the inclusion of Technopark in the Light Metro alignment will benefit
over 50,000 IT professionals.
As the LDF government gears up to present its final budget today, T’Puram voters have high hopes for the capital. The Light Metro project, lack of an effective sewage network and absence of a centralised waste plant are some among the many unaddressed issues in the rapidly growing city