Almost 65 acres of green space that will house multiple other facilities are all set for development in the city as a detailed project report for the Semmozhi Poonga is in the final stages.
Coimbatore Collector GS Sameeran told The Hindu the Poonga will be developed on the Central prison premises at ₹200 crore in the first phase. Some of the facilities proposed are a convention centre and co-working space.
The prison will be shifted to a location near Karamadai and almost 100 acres has been identified for this purpose. The existing prison building is 150 years old and it will be preserved as a heritage building and used for other purposes at a later stage. The Semmozhi Poonga will be an extension of this concept, he said.
In a district, which has a population of nearly 20 lakh in Coimbatore city and another five lakhs to seven lakhs commuting to the city regularly, a host of infrastructure projects are in different stages of development or preparation.
The Collector said two major works that have seen significant progress in the last few months are land acquisition for expansion of Coimbatore International Airport and the Pilloor Drinking Water Scheme phase III. Both these were pending for several years because of bottlenecks in land acquisition, etc.
Of the 640 acres to be acquired for the expansion of the Coimbatore Airport, 461 acres are private land. As on September 30, 355 acres were acquired and ₹1,536 crore disbursed in total. When adequate land is handed over to the Airports Authority of India, expansion of the runway will be taken up first. The officials concerned are also looking at the possibility of having a road between Avinashi Road and Neelambur bypass, which will pass through the Airport terminal when it is expanded.
On the phase III of the Pilloor Scheme, he said the project, which is to be implemented at ₹780 crore to supply 178 mld, has seen 78% progress. The scheme will meet the drinking water needs of the added areas and thus, ease the pressure on the existing schemes. The aim is to commission the project by March next year.
Regarding Coimbatore Development Authority, the Collector said efforts are on to build the institution. At present, granting approvals for building plans and layout plans have gone completely online. In another two months, land reclassification applications will also go online in the district. This will result in a lot of clarity on land use patterns and the system will be linked to the Directorate of Town and Country Planning, he said.