KOCHI: The Kerala Municipal Building Rules threaten to scuttle the KSRTC’s stand-cum-commercial complex dreams in certain municipal corporations. According to officials, the plans chalked out by KSRTC depots to renovate and upgrade their stands as separate revenue generators at Ernakulam and Palakkad have hit a roadblock owing to the guidelines enforced in the municipal town planning guidelines, which restricts the construction of commercial buildings over 3000 sq ft in transportation zones.
In Ernakulam, the KSRTC stand has long been declared as a transportation zone under the Town Planning scheme. Eyeing the economic opportunities, the KSRTC management decided to upgrade the stand into a bus stand-cum-shopping complex in 45,000 sq ft of land. However, officials of the KSRTC allege that the Corporation guidelines has proved a dampener to their ambitious project and they have been seeking the Corporation to relax the rules for quite some time now.
“We have approached the Corporation in this regard and are still awaiting their response,” officials said. In most other municipal and corporation areas, where the stand-cum-commercial complex has been proposed, this rule has not become a problem. Our application for construction was rejected by the Corporation Town Planning Committee chairperson on the grounds that the municipality rules didn’t permit construction of a commercial zone here. This has left us in the lurch. Officials with the KSRTC depot said that the norms have also affected the construction of the KSRTC stand at Palakkad.
However, the Kochi Corporation officials said that they had forwarded the plan, submitted by the KSRTC, to the government. “Our guidelines restrict such commercial projects in transportation zones. However, we took into consideration the plan submitted by the KSRTC since it is a state-owned enterprise and we have submitted it to the government. It is now up to the government to take a call in this matter,” officials with the town planning committee said.