Kerala govt approves master plan for Thiruvananthapuram with modern urban concepts

According to official sources, Transit Oriented Development (TOD) plan to ensure efficient use of land resources, fair compensation & opportunities for landowners.
Thiruvananthapuram City Corporation building
Thiruvananthapuram City Corporation buildingPhoto | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a move aimed at bolstering urban infrastructure and development of the state capital, the state government has approved the long-pending Thiruvananthapuram Master Plan 2040 which features innovative planning approaches designed to transform the urban landscape of the capital city. Modern planning concepts such as Transit Oriented Development (TOD), which designate a 250 metre wide zone on both sides of the National Highway to encourage the use of public transportation and reduce traffic congestion.

According to official sources, TOD would be beneficial when the Vizhinjam Port becomes functional. The TOD approach is expected to enhance connectivity and accessibility and boost sustainable urban growth. Besides this, the master plan also includes Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) and land pooling. These modern concepts enable efficient use of land resources ensuring fair compensation and opportunities for landowners.

The City Corporation is following the decades-old master plan which was approved in 1971. The plan was drawn up by the city corporation with technical assistance from the State Town and Country Planning Department under the LSGD. The Master Plan was officially approved by the state government on July 4.

Previously, draft master plans were prepared in 1993 and 2013 but were not approved owing to public resistance. Mayor Arya Rajendran told TNIE that the long-term efforts to create a comprehensive master plan for the capital city have finally become a reality. She said that the new master plan makes the city more capable of accommodating massive infrastructure development projects related to the upcoming Vizhinjam Port.

“This is undoubtedly a milestone for the civic body. The citizens here have been facing numerous issues and unnecessary obstacles related to house construction and all those issues will be resolved,” said the mayor.

Mobility hub at Anayara, MCH expansion, sponge city

The master plan moots the setting up of a mobility hub at 106 acres land in Anayara. The hub is envisioned as a connectivity point that merges various modes of transportation including land, water and air. An official of the State Town and Country Planning Department said that the Anayara area has been declared as a special zone in the master plan. “It’s ideal as it’s a convergence point that will integrate various modes of transportation including water transport, highway, metro rail,” said the official.

The expansion of Medical College Hospital is one of the major proposals in the master plan. Around 23 acres of land has been earmarked for the expansion of the MCH and the master plan designates the areas as a special zone. “Around 90 per cent of the land at all hundred wards are open for development. Around 75 per cent of the land has been earmarked as a mixed development zone and additionally ‘special development zones’ have also been earmarked across the majority of the corporation wards,” said an official source.

The master plan has also proposed the concept of sponge city for the capital city which is prone to flash floods. A sponge city is an urban design concept which aims to mitigate urban flooding, replenish groundwater and make the city more resilient to climate change.

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