It will be set up in 12 acres at Kaloor

The city will have a sprawling underground exhibition centre of international standards if the Greater Cochin Development Authority’s (GCDA) plans take shape.

At a press conference here on Monday, GCDA chairman N. Venugopal said that the proposed exhibition centre will be set up at 12 acres of GCDA land adjoining the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kaloor. “The city now misses a permanent exhibition centre. The proposed exhibition centre will be set up without in any way damaging the surface of the land,” he said.

The state-of-the-art centre will have a built-up space of 1.5 lakh sq.ft separated into four divisions enabling it to host four exhibitions at a time. It will have a food court and space adequate enough for 500 stalls, Mr. Venugopal said.

The chairman said that the recently held executive council meeting of GCDA has decided to call for a financial feasibility report before going ahead with the proposed laser show, which will be a permanent feature of the city. Initially the plan was to implement the project taking into account its tourism potential. However, talks with the Union Minister of State for Food K.V. Thomas ruled out the possibility of tying up with the tourism sector.

A demonstration of the proposed laser show, which is based on German technology, was held recently. Other technologies will also be considered and tenders will be invited before adopting the best feasible technology, Mr. Venugopal said.

The beautification project of laying a one-km long pathway along the Marine Drive is nearing completion.

Ninety per cent of the work has been completed and it will be lit up, the chairman said.

GCDA is prepared to undertake maintenance works of the Harbour Bridge as soon as it receives a response to a report submitted to the Public Works Department 40 days ago.

Mr. Venugopal said that a project recommending elevation of Kochi into a metropolitan city had been given to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy under the 100-day programme. “The Chief Minister has assured that if a city in the State is to be elevated into a metropolitan city then that will be Kochi. In that case, GCDA will get transformed in to Kochi Metropolitan Development Authority,” the chairman said.

Mr. Venugopal said that encroachments on GCDA land will be evicted promptly. He said that traders on 1.5 acres in Kaloor, Kakkanad, and Ambedkar Stadium under the possession of GCDA will be rehabilitated in another space.

He said that GCDA is waiting for the response from the Kerala Football Association to sign a memorandum of understanding with regard to the usage of the Ambedkar stadium.

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