Tourism circuit, water transport among priorities
From eco tourism circuit to a wetland authority and an ultra modern library, the candidates in fray in the Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency have big dreams for the city and its suburbs.
At a programme organised by the Kozhikode Sustainable Development Initiative (KSDI), a collective of professionals, the candidates shared with the audience their thoughts on how Kozhikode should develop and how they could contribute to its growth.
For sitting MP M.K. Raghavan of the Congress, the next five years will be an extension of his activities in the current term. A master plan for the development of the city, which includes infrastructure development, better transportation, rail and road connectivity, is on top of his agenda. He plans to take forward the heritage corridor project that includes S.M. Street renovation and beautification as well as development of major historic places in the city. A museum complex named after V.K. Krishna Menon, developing the Sarovaram Bio Park into an urban eco park, and forming a wetland authority to protect the biodiversity in the park and its surrounding wetlands are also part of his plans. Connecting the Connolly canal from Kappad to Kadalundi, extending the monorail project to connect tourism centres as well and a sky walk from Kozhikode railway station to Mavoor Road are part of his dreams for the district.
A UPSC examination centre in the city, implementing the Central Government Health Scheme in the district for the Central government pensioners, developing drainage system in the city, developing a Beypore centric eco-tourism belt and a Kadalundi-Vallikkunnu community reserve are among his priorities.
A. Vijayaraghavan, the Left Democratic Front candidate, promises to be a good facilitator to connect Kozhikode with the resources. He cites the need for a main road that makes the heart of the city and roads from all directions connecting to it. He plans to implement a special programme for the protection of waterbodies that will be a model for the entire country.
A sustainable water transport system connecting the four rivers in the district and the sea is one of his pet projects.
A world-class library, Kozhikode’s own professional football team, development of Kozhikode as a health hub, and development of the Beypore port and the Calicut international airport are part of his dreams for the district.
The contestants later answered the questions of the audience regarding various development issues of the district.
A major complaint was regarding the development of the airport. Mr. Raghavan said the reluctance of a large section of residents near the airport to part with their land had affected airport development. Same was the case with the development of the Koyilandy-Vadakara bypass road, he said.
The demand for a High Court Bench and an annexe of the Secretariat in Kozhikode were met favourably by both the candidates.
Mr. Vijayaraghavan said that the hurdles to the development of the airport and the bypass road could be overcome with determination. He proposed the development of the Kozhikode railway station, involving the nearby stations.
KSDI chairman A. Achuthan and vice-chairman C. Janardhanan were present.