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Malabar pins its hopes on budget

North Kerala yet to be tapped for tourism and IT projects

July 08, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:43 am IST - Kozhikode:

The Malabar region is pinning high hopes on the Alteration Memorandum (revised State Budget) to be presented by Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac in the Assembly on Friday.

Expectations are high over several pending projects including the expansion of the Calicut airport and the speedy completion of the Kannur airport.

It is learnt that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged Mr. Isaac to give priority to Malabar which usually gets neglected in the annual budgets.

There is a crying need for the expansion of the Calicut airport. Many believe that this will be possible only with the acquisition of 248.3 acres of land for infrastructure development and resumption of operations of wide-bodied aircraft. Previous budgets had ignored this aspect while allotting funds.

A film city at the defunct Mavoor Gwalior Rayons, inclusion of Kozhikode in Smart City project, a High Court bench, Secretariat annexe and an immigration office in Kozhikode are some of the proposals.

North Kerala is yet to be tapped for tourism and IT projects.

Besides, industries such as tile factories, timber and weaving mills need to be revamped. The public transport system is also neglected, says C.E. Chakkunny, president of the Malabar Development Council.

Uniform VAT rate

He says that the State government should implement the VAT rate in uniformity with neighbouring States and Union Territories so as to increase the revenue and make goods available at cheaper rates.

For quite some time the government has thought of reviving Sweet Meat Street as the commercial hub of the city. But proposals to beautify the iconic street still remain on paper.

Mr. Chakkunny has sought the government to take effective steps to withdraw the night traffic ban on the National Highway 212.

One of the projects is the construction of an eco- friendly bridge allowing the free movement of animals in the Bandipur National Park.

Maintenance and repair of roads in Malabar and construction of flyovers at busy junctions should be given priority.

The government should also think of establishing a green field airport at Thiruvambady if sufficient land is available, he says.

The constitution of consultative and advisory committees and appointment of a railway and aviation advisor in New Delhi to coordinate related projects in the State should be considered, Mr. Chakkunny adds.

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