Kochi: Following warnings that low-lying areas in Kochi will be submerged in the coming decades due to the rise in sea level resulting from climate change, the authorities are exploring the possibility of developing the eastern and the northeastern parts of the city.
In response to the warning issued by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) plans to converge the ring road and Kochi Economic City project that aims to develop townships connecting the municipalities and panchayats within the authority’s jurisdiction.
“For several years, GCDA has been discussing the ring road and satellite town projects. We see the need for this convergence, having considered the IPCC study,” GCDA secretary Abdul Malik K V told the New Indian Express. “A preliminary study on its feasibility will be done by GCDA’s planning department and a brief report is expected in six months,” he said.
The authority has earmarked Rs 1 crore to study the feasibility of a ring road linking North Paravur with Cherthala in the Alappuzha district. “We prepared a draft report after looking at Google Maps and identifying vacant land for satellite towns. An alignment was roughly prepared for the ring road,” said a GCDA planning official.
“The planned route will connect North Paravur with Angamaly, Vengola, Puthencruz, Mulanthuruthy and Cherthala. It will be finalised only after visiting the site,” he added. At present, the focus is on developing satellite towns through which the ring road passes.
“This will result in the development of several nodes, each having economic justification of its own, generating employment and residential-commercial demand. Gradually, we will have a set of satellite towns connected via ring road with other major cities,” said Malik, who added the Magarpatta satellite township in Pune is the reference model.
“Land pooling is the way we are planning to take it forward — a partnership model in which the landowners will also be partners along with the government and will get a percentage of the profit from the project after completion,” said Malik.
“With public participation, we will develop the economic city, a group of satellite towns connected by the ring road with the main cities, so that the economic activities can be gradually shifted to these towns,” he added. “We’ll go ahead with the feasibility study this financial year itself,” he added.