Kerala readying rules to follow new urban development trends, says Pinarayi

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurates Bodhi 2022 conclave virtually at Bolgatty Palace in Kochi on Sunday. Photo: Special arrangement

Kochi: Kerala should go for new trends in urban planning and development practices such as land pooling and transfer of development rights (TDR) because those measures can cut down the burden on the state exchequer significantly, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in an online address from London on Sunday.

Inaugurating the two-day National Urban Conclave – Bodhi 2022 virtually, the chief minister said the new models of development practices have to be implemented on the major projects to avoid legal formalities too.

"The Kerala Town and Country Planning Act 2016 has the provision for these and the government has started the formation of the rules and guidelines. We are actively inviting investments in the development of the state and in the urban sector, public-private participation (PPP) projects are going on and many more are expected to come up," he said.

Vijayan said the cities of the future should be developed by adopting the new trends in urban design. He said Kochi is the apt place to host the national urban conclave as the city has been emerging as a global city with the development in services, industry, commerce, IT and tourism.

Delivering the keynote address, Local Self Government and Excise Minister M B Rajesh said it is important to understand how technology is going to solve the complex problems that arise out of the process of urbanisation.

Minister M B Rajesh addresses Bodhi 2022 conclave at Bolgatty Palace in Kochi on Sunday. Photo: Special arrangement

"Consumerism is increasing in Kerala. As part of urbanisation, we are facing the issues of waste generation, pollution, unemployment, lifestyle diseases, environmental degradation, etc. In order to find a solution for all this, we need to understand the process of urbanisation," Rajesh said.

State Industries and Law Minister P Rajeeve, who also addressed the gathering virtually, called for a sustainable model for the further development of the city.

Retired IAS officer Keshav Varma, chairman of the Centre's High-Level Committee on Urban Planning, said Kochi has the potential to position itself as a global city.

Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) chairman K Chandran Pillai, who chaired the meeting, stressed on the need to revisit the current mode of urban governance and consider fresh ideas and tools for addressing present and future challenges.

"As India gets increasingly urbanised, we need to accept that cities will be the key actors driving India's growth. We need innovative ideas and proposals to tackle the challenges of the future," Pillai said.

S Krishnakumar, founder chairman of the GCDA, was honoured at the event.

The conclave, being at Bolgatty Palace, hosts a series of discussions on ‘Reinventing urban development through emerging tools and techniques'.

Dr Sharmila Mary Joseph, Principal Secretary, LSGD, Government of Kerala, has said that engaging local bodies as engines for economic growth were of paramount importance which the planners had identified well before.

Sharmila Mary Joseph, Principal Secretary, LSGD, addresses Bodhi 2022 conclave at Bolgatty Palace in Kochi on Sunday. Photo: Special arrangement

Making a general address prior to sessions, she said that resourcing in a big way was vital for implementing projects in a big way.

“A total of 26% of the total state funds including 10 percent of the taxes come down to the LSGDs while the suggestions and ideas for development come from the grassroots level like ward sabhas and grama sabhas. That is how development happens constructively,” she said.

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