The Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) will evolve projects and adopt a pro-active approach for catering to the development needs of Kochi city and adjoining areas, said N. Venugopal, the newly sworn-in chairman of the authority.

Kochi is evolving as a metro city and there should be matching development efforts outside the city limits too. The authority will chart projects for ensuring development projects in areas outside the city, said Mr. Venugopal.

A permanent international exhibition centre, along the lines of the one at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, will come up at the land owned by the authority near the Jawaharlal Nehru International stadium. The authority will not go in for Build, Operate and Transfer mode for development projects. The GCDA will revoke all such projects which were passed earlier, spelling out the development priorities, Mr. Venugopal said.

The project for the Bund Road and Coastal roads are in the priority list of the new chairman. A land bank will be created by the authority through which it will procure land which can be utilised for various development projects. A meeting of the officials of the authority, FIFA and Sports Ministry will be held on April 9 to discuss the development of the Ambedkar stadium. FIFA had offered to support the development of the stadium, he said.

Funds will not be a constraint for the development activities of the authority. The financial support of various national and State agencies will be available for the projects. The agency has Rs.102 crore as fixed deposit in various small banks. The funds will be transferred to some nationalised banks, he said.

Several dignitaries including Union Minister K.V. Thomas; P.C. Chacko, K.P. Dhanapalan and Charles Dias, MPs; Dominic Presentation, Hibi Eden, V.P. Sajeendran, Anwar Sadath and Ludy Luiz, MLAs; Mayor Tony Chammany; former GCDA chairpersons K. Balachandran, Joseph Thomas and M.C. Josephine; and PSC chairman K.S. Radhakrishnan were present.

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