Budget focusses on augmenting infrastructure and entertainment amenities
With civic and allied infrastructure in doldrums in Kochi, the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) has pledged to augment roads, boat services, water supply and entertainment amenities.
The agency listed a slew of mega schemes, including commercial ventures, in its budget that was tabled here on Saturday by N. Venugopal, GCDA Chairman.
He said the long-pending project of the agency – widening the Chilavanoor Bund Road to a 15-metre road —would be completed this year. The road running parallel to the congested SA Road will provide a new link from NH Bypass, near Vyttila, to Thevara. The GCDA has taken possession of 54 cents of the three acres required for the Rs.25-crore project. The agency will pool in Rs.15 crore for the new road.
The budget has earmarked Rs.6 crore for the first phase of the 10.50-km-long Ring Road that begins from Chatiath, located off Marine Drive, and ends at Varapuzha. The road will provide a link from the city to both NH 17 and NH 47. The Ring Road will pass through Vaduthala, Pachalam and Kadamakudy.
“We hope to avail funds from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and the State government for completing the 36-metre-wide road,” Mr. Venugopal said.
Another project in the pipeline is to link Panampilly Nagar with Thevara by acquiring land for the 40-feet-wide Ambedkar Road. The link will help commuters to reach Thevara from the Bypass without entering MG Road. The tarring work will begin next week.
The agency will also create junctions in the Kaloor-Palarivattom stretch using Rs.10 lakh from the corporate social responsibility funds of IT firms.
A new bridge linking Kaloor market with Manappatiparambu will be built to reduce traffic at Kaloor Junction.
Trade bodies and others are expected to pool in funds. The GCDA has set apart Rs.25 lakh in its budget. The Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road will be renovated at a cost of Rs.2 crore. The agency will pay the remaining Rs.7 crore of the total Rs.20 crore that it promised to the Vyttila Mobility Hub.
A total of Rs.50 lakh will be spent to develop the Pandarchira-Manassery Road in West Kochi. Evictees will be rehabilitated on land owned by the GCDA.
Taking note of the shoddy treatment meted out to the water transport sector, the agency has volunteered to become the nodal agency to coordinate and augment boat services in the greater Kochi area. It has set apart Rs.10 lakh for the preparatory works. Another Rs.25 lakh would be used to study the possibility of using the existing railway lines to operate suburban trains.
Satellite towns, of 250 acres each, have been proposed at four places in the suburbs. The first of these will come up at Alangad. The agency has also planned to set up land banks in the greater Kochi area. The agency’s houses in Mundamveli, studio apartments in Kakkanad and apartments in Panampilly Nagar are getting ready.
A shelter for migrant labourers has been mooted at Angamaly and Perumbavoor. Each shelter will come up on five acres of land and will have a capacity to accommodate 10,000 people. Two apartment complexes—one each for media persons and GCDA staff— is on the anvil.
The GCDA would tie up with private firms to set up treatment plants at Udayamperoor and Panangad. Water will be sourced from the backwaters and will be supplied to customers in tanker lorries. A sum of Rs.10 lakh has been earmarked for preliminary works.
Mr. Venugopal said the projects would not meet the same fate of the projects that were announced in past budgets.