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Priority to pending projects, says Sivakumar

Staff Reporter
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Calls for further impetus to activities of residents associations for city’s development

Minister for Health V.S. Sivakumar has said that the activities of residents associations need to be given further impetus, and their advice, suggestions, and opinions will prove vital for the government to design development projects.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the 19th mid-yearly conference of the Federation of Residents’ Associations, Thiruvananthapuram (FRAT) here on Sunday.

The Minister’s address covered a range of pending projects that will go full-steam ahead in the coming months. “Under Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, 10 key spheres for development were identified, including basic infrastructure, education, IT and tourism,” he said. The drafts of projects had been formulated, and on September 25, a media seminar would be held, followed by discussions with the city Corporation, Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority (TRIDA), and organisations such as FRAT, he said.

He said a number of long-term projects were hanging fire. Basic infrastructure projects would be implemented during the tenure of the present government.

A building providing parking facilities figured on the list. “A Rs.10-crore project was being envisaged for this on the Attakulangara High School premises. This will greatly reduce the congestion that the East Fort area is prone to,” he said.

The A.K. Antony government had envisioned the renovation of 45 km of roads in the city. A second stage of road development would be launched soon. It would involve 50 km of radial and ring roads in the city, he said.

The Karamana-Kaliyikkavila highway was being prioritised by the State government, Mr. Sivakumar said.

Drinking water was another subject that the Minister spoke about at length. Taking into account the growing population of the city, raising the level of the Peppara dam was under serious consideration, he said.

He echoed Saturday’s announcement of a Rs.258-crore sewerage project under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. Focus would also be on drinking water and desalination plant projects.

The ongoing environmental and feasibility studies being undertaken at Valiyathura for the Capital City Harbour Project and at Poonthura would soon be completed. Rejuvenation of the Karamana and Killi rivers also figured on the list of developmental projects for which Central funds had been sought.

There was progress on setting up of a High Court Bench in the city, he said. He had already held meetings with Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid and Shashi Tharoor, MP.

Mr. Sivakumar stressed that the projects needed to be followed up in a time-bound manner, and called for concerted efforts by the government and the city Corporation to improve the city.

Association president Vennikulam George Varghese said in his presidential address that focus would be on the Vizhinjam port project and the Karamana-Kaliyikkavila road work during the discussions to be held during the day with members of FRAT.

Mayor K. Chandrika, TRIDA chairman P.K. Venugopal, and FRAT general secretary Paraniyam Devakumar were present.

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