THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The long-pending Phase II of the Capital Region Development Programme (CRDP), which is crucial for the comprehensive and planned development of the city, is finally back on track. The State Pollution Control Board will hold a public hearing to get feedback and concerns on the environmental impact of the project on November 3 at the district collectorate.
The Rs 4,871-crore project proposes the development and renovation of almost 49.7km of road, an outer ring road (ORR), parking facilities and an Outer Area Growth Corridor. The ORR project under the CRDP II got the in-principle approval from the Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways in 2018. The ministry has included the project under the Bharatmala Pariyojana. The 80-kilometre-long six-lane ring road will interconnect NH 66, state highways and MC Road beginning from Parippally in the north to Andoorkonam, Vattapara, Aruvikkara, Ooruttambalam, Balaramapuram and Vizhinjam bypass.
Hyderabad-based L & T Infrastructure Engineering has been roped in as the consultant for the project and the public hearing is being held as part of the environmental impact and social impact studies. According to official sources, the procedures are in the final stages and the next step would be to get clearance from the Union ministry and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), said an official associated with CRDP. Kerala State Pollution Control Board chairman Pradeep Kumar told TNIE that the public hearing is being scheduled as per the request of the special officer of CRDP.
“Public hearing is an integral part of the environment impact assessment procedures and we would be hearing the concerns of the public, compile the feedback and give a report to the state government and Union environment ministry. Environment Clearance for the project would be given based on the report,” said Pradeep Kumar.
The project has been on the back burner for a while now owing to a lack of political will. The project proposes the construction of a 78-kilometre-long six-lane road from Vizhinjam to Navayikulam which runs along the eastern side of Thiruvananthapuram city. The plan is to set up massive network of knowledge hubs, industrial parks, amusement centres and townships in 10,000 acres of land on both sides of the road. The government is expecting an investment of Rs 25,000 crore and generation of 2.5 lakh direct job opportunities The previous LDF government in its last budget had allocated `100 crore as seed funding for the project. The Outer Area Growth Corridor -- one of the key projects under CRDP II -- proposes the creation of a parallel planned city in Thiruvananthapuram.
According to officials, the preparation of a master plan for the new city is under way and has proposed a Special Investment Region which is under the active consideration of various departments.
The region proposed under the Outer Area Growth Corridor comprises a geographical area of about 400 sq km.