Discussion on draft city master plan today

The projects proposed in the draft copy of the Thiruvananthapuram master plan prioritise decongesting the core of the city by moving major institutions such as the Central Jail at Poojappura, the Regional Cancer Centre and the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology to the city outskirts such as Chenkottukonam. Two city centres at Kazhakuttam and Vizhinjam have been mooted in the plan that also takes into account the possible establishment of a High Court Bench in the capital by identifying a space for a court complex near Kazhakuttam.

This document is a blueprint for the development of the city until 2031, and as Mayor K. Chandrika said during a press conference here on Sunday, it acknowledged the need to move outwards. “The heart of the city has become so cluttered and there is simply no space for new institutions or initiatives to be implemented,” said the Mayor. She added that land acquisition could be possible only by shifting focus to the peripheral areas of the city. Different zones of development had been identified; each assigned a particular Floor Area Ratio (FAR). Prepared by the Department of Town and Country Planning and the City Corporation, the document would be put up for scrutiny on Tuesday during a day-long workshop scheduled at the Kanakakunnu Palace.

The programme is being organised by the civic body to provide residents a forum to propose their suggestions and recommendations for the development of the city.

Objections by June 6

Objections to the proposals in the master plan need to be submitted before June 6. These objections will be forwarded to the Town Planning Department, and the agency will consider those suggestions to create the final version of the document that will touch upon a range of civic issues from waste management to reducing traffic snarls.

In an attempt to conserve the fast disappearing green cover of the city, the plan includes provision to create ‘green zones’ and ‘green belts.’

Renovation of existing parks and playgrounds and construction of seven new ones are part of the plan. With road congestion already posing a serious concern, the plan also outlines parking solutions and improving the road network to decongest the city core. Flood mitigation, water retention projects and rejuvenation of the waterbodies in the city are the other facets of the master plan.

At the seminar, councillors, engineers, builders, architects and businessmen will be present to interact with city residents and representatives of various organisations in a bid to polish up the master plan.

The programme will be inaugurated at 10 a.m. by Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhy Ali.