GCDA plans to tap unique possibilities of Kochi and evolve a comprehensive plan
Setting its dream really big, the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) is working towards making Kochi a ‘Global City’. The idea is to tap unique possibilities of the city and evolve a comprehensive plan to utilise its features like Marine Drive, Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, SmartCity, Cochin Port, LNG Terminal, Cochin International Airport and others. The Authority is presently working on 20-odd projects to place the city on the highway to future.
During the first phase of this attempt, the extension of the Marine Drive and completion of the Ring Road projects have been listed. The second phase includes developing 250 hectares and build trade centre, logistics centre, convention centre, amusement park and transport hub.
A stretch of Ring Road will connect Chathiath to Madavana, areas covered in the second phase extension of the Marine Drive. When completed, the Ring Road will touch main city points like Aroor, National Highways 47 and 17, Airport Seaport Road and Cochin International Airport. It has been conceived as the major exit route for traffic in the city and is expected to take a major load off the arterial roads in the city. The preliminary studies regarding the general alignment of the road have been done.
Another key project being planned by the GCDA is the Hygia Valley project, which is a health city being developed at 250 acres near Tripunithura Kaniyavali Canal. The Rs. 1200-crore project is expected to give a boost to health tourism and will feature parks, playgrounds, boat jetty, helipad and walkways. The scheme also includes provision for rehabilitating those displaced for the project.
A special township project is being planned to tap the tourism potential of Chellenam area without hampering the fisheries sector. The proposed township is being worked out in 250 acres. The area already has a Sustainable Agri-tourism Village project along with Kumbalanghi.
To match international standards and as part of an attempt to improve the infrastructure facilities, the Authority has planned enhanced parking facilities along with the extension of the Marine Drive. The Rs.70-crore project has provision for parking 1,000 vehicles in the underground facility. This has been planned along with the commercial complex that is proposed in the second phase of the Marine Drive development.
The Authority will join hands with the Football Federation of India and Sport Council to renovate the Ambedkar Stadium. The initial project report for the renovation, expected to cost around Rs. 27 crore, has been prepared. The project includes increasing the seating capacity to 15,500, installing floodlights, laying the ground turf and building resting rooms for players.
Renovation the Kaloor market complex is another project listed in the series. The market, built in the centre of the city with all facilities, has been lying unused till now, with every attempt to shift the market from its present location to the new complex failing. Technical report on the renovation of the complex has been prepared and submitted for approval of the State government.
Other projects featured here include the commercial complex at Kakkanad at the cost of Rs. 1.76 crore, permanent exhibition centres at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium premises and Marine Drive for Rs. 150 crore, entertainment zone, Laser show, ropeway, oceanarium and waterscreen cinema hall along with Marine Drive development.