Proposed project in draft plan put on hold

Residents of Attipra and Kazhakuttom who were not given building permits after their land was earmarked for IT-based enterprise in the draft master plan 2031 can heave a sigh of relief with the Local Self-Government Department issuing a notification freezing temporarily the project following complaints that it was not based on proper studies.

The decision would pave the way for the city Corporation to issue building permits, which were being rejected after the draft master plan came into effect. Chairman of the standing committee for Works V.S. Padmakumar said over 170 applications from the Kazhakuttom and Attipra zonal offices of the civic body were pending.

“The notification was issued on Wednesday night. We will start the process of issuing permits by Friday and in a week’s time all applicants would be given the permits,” he said.

Since the draft plan was published, residents of these areas had launched protests seeking its withdrawal. As per the draft plan, only those who owned more than 2.5 acres could take up building activities in these areas, while permits were denied to those with 5 or 10 cents of land

The Corporation was quick to deny any role in the preparation of the plan and squarely put the blame on the Town and Country Planning Department.

Taking into account public sentiments, the Corporation had even unanimously passed a resolution asking the government to scrap the draft and amend the Town and Country Planning Ordinance, 2013.

In accordance with the demand made by the civic body, the decision to freeze the draft plan was taken at a Cabinet meeting on February 11. Urban Affairs Minister Manjilamkuzhi Ali signed the notification on Wednesday.

Sources in the Local Self-Government Department told The Hindu that a draft master plan would be prepared taking into account the concerns and suggestions.