Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has said that the government will float a company to execute the second phase of the Capital Region Development Programme (CRDP) after the upcoming local body polls. The project is expected to transform the State capital by creating a growth corridor on either side of a 79-km-long outer ring road from Vizhinjam to Navaikulam.
He was inaugurating a webinar organised by the CPI(M) district committee on Thursday to generate suggestions aimed at evolving a framework for the city’s development.
New options for land
Pointing out that the proposed ring road would require nearly 1,500 acres, Dr. Isaac said the government would pursue options different from the conventional land acquisition mode for the purpose.
“Land owners will be encouraged to sell their unutilised land or plots that generate low farm income to the company. In return, they will either be issued land bonds that carry attractive interest rates or they can opt for a transfer of land with increased value back to them later in proportion to their original property. Those requiring immediate financial settlement will be able to either sell their land bonds or seek payment for the land sold to the proposed company,” he said.
Dr. Isaac said the city had been witnessing unprecedented development under the current LDF rule with nearly ₹8,000 crore earmarked for road development alone.
Cutting carbon output
Haritha Keralam Mission executive vice chairperson T.N. Seema said the development projects should incorporate steps to limit carbon emission. Calling for setting a target to achieve carbon neutrality, Ms. Seema called for efforts to promote e-mobility and cycling.
She also stressed on the need to reduce dependence on drinking water supplied through pipes and to find greater use for groundwater wells.
Lauding the city Corporation for ensuring that the development reached all sections of society, unlike most other cities in the country, Kerala Institute of Local Administration director general Joy Elamon emphasised the need for spatial planning, a crucial component while preparing the city’s master plan.
Historian Malayinkeezhu Gopalakrishnan proposed declaring specific parts of the State capital as heritage zones, especially places that house institutions, statues and other structures that are over a century old. Strict controls must be imposed for construction activities in such areas.