An investor pointed out that while municipalities and corporations came under CRZ-I and CRZ-II respectively, some municipalities like Maradu were in CRZ-III.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said the State government has taken note of the wrongful application of the Coastal Regulation Zone provisions to municipalities and corporations, thus effectively blocking development projects.
Responding to the issue raised by a prospective investor at the two-day Partner Kerala investors’ meet that concluded here on Tuesday, Mr. Chandy said steps were being taken to address the anomaly.
The investor pointed out that while municipalities and corporations came under CRZ-I and CRZ-II respectively, some municipalities like Maradu were in CRZ-III, which is applicable to panchayats, making life tough for investors.
Mr. Chandy attributed it to the elevation of some panchayats into municipalities and the addition of some panchayats to municipal corporations.
Another investor wanted to know why the State cannot set up an electronics city along the lines of the one in Bangalore. Mr. Chandy said the government was in the process of resolving the environmental issues standing in the way of the proposed electronics hub at Amballoor near Piravom.
“We are also awaiting the Central government approval for our proposal for a Coimbatore-Kochi industrial corridor, which would naturally have space for electronics sector,” the Chief Minister said.
The hardships of building owners in getting back their rented properties were the concern of an investor who felt that it was one of the reasons for the backwardness of the State in infrastructure development. He was concerned that a piece of legislation proposed to resolve the matter was dead or had been considerably watered down.
Mr. Chandy while clarifying that the apprehension was misplaced said the State government was working on a piece of legislation that combined the owner’s right over the property and revenue along with the tenant’s right for continuity in business. The legislation was in the final stage, he said.
Concerned over the possible delay in getting clearances from the government departments for projects showcased in the Partner Kerala meet, an investor wanted to know whether the government would ensure a single window clearance facility and continuity in bureaucratic approach. Mr. Chandy said the urban bodies concerned would issue clearances in a time-bound manner and the State government would back it solidly.
To an apprehension whether ecological issues would come in the way of a project proposed at Malappuram, Mr. Chandy said no development projects could be undertaken at the expense of environment and should confirm to the provisions of the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act.
Time-bound processing of EOIs
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said the Public Private Partnership cell under the Department of Urban Affairs would be strengthened for the time-bound processing of Expression of Interests (EOIs) signed at the Partner Kerala investors’ meet.
Addressing investors on the second day of the meet, Mr. Chandy said apprehensions that government land would be sold to private parties as part of the PPP projects were misplaced.
Mr. Chandy said the State government was surprised by the response to the student entrepreneurship programme. “When we pledged infrastructure support, we were expecting 100-150 youngsters to respond. But now more than 1,000 innovative concepts were in queue at the Startup Village and the government is struggling to keep its promise of extending infrastructure support for three year,” he said.
He said the revival and strengthening of the State would not be possible with government funding alone and that was the reason why an investors’ meet was organised to help the local bodies find partners.
“Majority of the revenue has gone into education, health and social sectors. But those investments cannot be counted as loss since all the achievements of the State can be attributed to those investments. But at the same time the State fell behind in terms of infrastructure development, a prerequisite for investments,” Mr. Chandy said.