Government yet to issue orders for the project

The detailed town planning scheme for the Thamannam-Pullepady road widening project, which would have redrawn the development paradigm of Kochi, is hanging fire.

Though the civic authorities completed the groundwork for the project some three months ago, the government is yet to issue orders approving the project. The scheme is also awaiting the notification from the Chief Town Planner, civic authorities pointed out.

The scheme is aimed at creating a width of 22 metres along the approach roads to the Thamannam-Pullepady overbridge on a private-public-participation mode. As it was proposed to be implemented in PPP mode, the civic authorities hoped to obtain land for the project free of cost. Modern bus bays, parking lots and markets were also proposed in the scheme. There was also proposals for rehabilitating people who would lose their houses in the same area.

The civic authorities felt that if the scheme was notified on time, it would have created a trend in obtaining land for development projects in Kochi.

The non-availability of land was identified as the major bottleneck in the implementation of development projects in Kochi. Some of the ambitious projects suggested for Kochi had failed to take off due to the non-availability of land.

The reluctance of the land owners in releasing their holdings added to the worries of the civic authorities.

It was estimated that the Kochi Corporation had to raise around Rs. 200 crore for obtaining land for various projects.

Under the detailed town planning scheme proposed for the area, the authorities had offered relaxations in building rules and floor area ratio (the vertical height to which a building can be constructed in a plot) for those who released land for the project.

The authorities had also agreed to implement the transfer of development rights under the scheme. Under the transfer of rights scheme, those who obtain relaxations in floor area ratio and building rules in lieu of the land could transfer the rights to other areas or even sell it. It was doubtful whether the land acquisition process could be initiated during the term of the present council as the notifications and government orders were not issued. The authorities have promised to discuss the issues related t the scheme at a meeting to be held in Kochi next week, civic administrators said.

Keywords: road widening

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