GCDA to co-host national conclave on reinventing urban development

The city would host a national urban conclave co-hosted by the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) on September 1 and 2, on the topic ‘Reinventing urban development through emerging tools and techniques – the sharing of best practices and models’, K. Chandran Pillai, Chairman of the agency, said.

The event that would be inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is being co-organised by the Association of Municipalities and Development Authorities. The CEO of NITI Aayog, Parameshwaran Iyer, is among those who are expected to attend the function.

The topics that will be discussed include land pooling, which would increase the total land value, transfer of development rights that has been tried out in Mumbai, local area planning, transit-oriented development, public private partnership (PPP) projects, new trends in urban design, and integration of decentralised and spatial planning. 

Master plan

An updated master plan has been envisaged for sustainable development of the Greater Kochi area that encompasses the Kochi Corporation, nine neighbouring municipalities, and vast many panchayats, since there are complaints that a bulk of projects undertaken by the GCDA are city-focused, Mr. Pillai, said.

The skilled manpower available with the body will be optimally utilised for the purpose. Efforts are on to realise the Ring Road project as an eight-lane corridor (now estimated to be 100-km long), in coordination with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). A sprawling film city in the suburbs and a post-production facility in the city too have been envisaged. The possibility of sourcing funds, including from municipal bonds too ought to be probed, he said.

Mr. Pillai cited the urgent need to de-congest arterial and side roads in the city, as vehicles, mainly goods carriers that are parked at random, caused traffic hold-ups and accidents. “Parking lots having dormitories ought to come up in the suburbs for freight handling. The impending parking policy [by KMTA] is expected to provide legal backing for streamlined parking. Similarly, a ₹20-crore multi-tier parking lot has been planned at Marine Drive, with help from Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML). A ₹400 crore cricket stadium is on the anvil, considering that sports is a major investment opportunity,” Mr. Pillai said.

The GCDA can plan its part, although it has no direct role in preventing inundation of the city and its suburbs during rain. There is scope to set up a waste management agency, since solid, hazardous, and e-waste are making their way into waterbodies, he said.

GCDA Secretary Abdul Malik K.V. spoke of how Kerala needed to catch up with many other States in urban development, although it had been on the forefront of decentralised planning.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2022 9:10:30 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/gcda-to-co-host-national-conclave-on-reinventing-urban-development/article65726954.ece