Katari Bagh, a landmark of Kochi, was set up by B.M. Edward's construction company in the 50s.

Modern Kochi owes much to B.M. Edward who died at the age of 96 on Friday. One of the visionary leaders in the industrial horizon of Kochi, he had many firsts to his credit.

Katari Bagh, a landmark of Kochi, where several important facilities and institutions are located, was set up by his construction company in the 50s.

The company, which had been taking up works of Military Engineering Services, got an opportunity for reclaiming land for the Naval base. He could provide the lowest bid for the work and successfully executed the work, which turned out to be a landmark of Kochi. His company was also involved in the construction of the Naval Technical College there.

His initiative in setting up India Seafoods, a company for processing seafoods, opened up a new path in exploring the potential for export of seafoods. The Beeyems Construction company, founded by him, undertook hydroelectric projects at Pampa.

Construction of sea walls at Kannammaly and other locations was another notable work undertaken by his company. A devoted Catholic, he was bestowed with the honour of Chevalier by the Pope in 1970.

The passing away of Edward brings forth memories of several luminaries who have enriched the industrial scene of Kochi in the past. M.C. Jacob, the founder of Anna Kitex group of companies, who passed away a year ago, provided employment opportunities at a time when unemployment was stalking Kerala. Products ranging from household appliances and textiles gave Kochi a prime position in the industrial annals of south India.

M.K.K. Nair was another stalwart who was responsible for setting up FACT at Udyogamandal.

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