THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the LDF government coming to power for the second consecutive term, demands to create a new portfolio or department focusing exclusively on the capital’s development has gained momentum in the district. The Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce and Industry will send a memorandum to Chief Minister designate Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday, including demands from nine other organisations working for the development of the capital.
According to S N Raghuchandran Nair, president, Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI), the government should at least consider setting up a department under the direct control of the chief minister if there are limitations in creating a new portfolio entirely for the capital’s development.
Other organisations, however, want the government to announce a new portfolio. “The only way to ensure timely development and completion of projects in the capital is to create a new portfolio with a minister. Several promises for the capital was presented in the interim budget a few months ago. Hope it will bear fruition within the next five years. The development of the airport, Vizhinjam port and outer ring road are among the top priorities,” said Rasis RS, co-founder of ‘Trivandrum Indian’, a popular social media page.
The TCCI and other organisations had earlier approached Pinarayi Vijayan with similar demands, even before the LDF government had prepared its election manifesto. The organisations hope the government will prioritise the development of Thiruvananthapuram airport, timely completion of Vizhinjam port and other infrastructure projects, including the Outer Area Growth Corridor (OAGC) and development of roads. They also sought timely completion of the Shanghumugham beach and beautification of Kovalam and Varkala beaches to boost tourism.
CRUCIAL PROJECT REMAINS A PIPEDREAM
The phase II of the Capital Region Development Programme (CRDP II), which is crucial for comprehensive development of the city, remains a pipe dream even after years of planning. Unfortunately, successive governments have failed to provide much-needed impetus to the programme. The 80 km long six-lane Outer Ring Road (ORR) project estimated to cost Rs 4,868 crore under the CRDP II had received the in-principle approval from the Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MORTH) in 2018.