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Kozhikode builds up growth sinews for the future

26-08-2010

The merger of three grama panchayats with the Kozhikode City Corporation will stimulate development not only in these areas but also in neighbouring panchayats within the urban agglomeration.

Elathur, Beypore and Cheruvannur-Nallalam are the panchayats merged to extend the boundaries of the city. Some of the panchayats just outside the new Corporation limits are semi-urban in nature, growing in tandem with the city. The prospects of the real estate sector and infrastructure development in these areas look positive.

The urban agglomeration stretches from Kunnamangalam in the east, Ramanattukara in the south and Elathur in the north. Several schemes which the Corporation has put on hold for want of land will be easily implemented in the areas merged.

Major schemes pertain to the housing and the agriculture sectors. Elathur and Beypore have abundant land suitable for the purpose. Cheruvannur-Nallalam is predominately an industrial region, officials say.

The extension of the city boundaries is going to immensely benefit Olavanna just outside the border. This region is witnessing an unprecedented boom in the realty sector. Both private and government projects are coming up in various parts, including Pantheeramkavu.

A multi-crore super-specialty hospital and one of the biggest commercial centres in north Kerala are being established on the bypass. There was a proposal to merge the Olavanna panchayat also with the Corporation. This will have been ideal considering its already urbanised nature. Besides, the Malaparamba- Thondayad Bypass passes through the panchayat, P. Divakaran, councillor, says.

Kunnamangalam is another panchayat that will undergo a sea change with the extension of the Corporation limits. It is fast turning into an educational hub with several institutions, including the Indian Institute of Management and the National Institute of Technology, functioning there. New engineering and medical colleges are also on the anvil.

Ramanattukara, Koduvally, Feroke, Kakkodi and Kadalundi are other panchayats coming under the urban agglomeration. Some of these can function as independent growth centres. In future, they will share development with the city.

Many believe that the Beypore port will get a fillip with the extension of the Corporation boundary as Kozhikode still continues to be a main centre of trade and commerce on the west coast. Its importance had diminished with the massive development of the ports in Kochi and Mangalore.

Mr. Divakaran says that developments, particularly in the housing sector, are seen in the eastern and north side of the city even before the proposal of the merger of the grama panchayats. More residential complexes have come up at Elathur, Pottamal and Malaparamba. Thus, the number of wards has decreased in Palayam and Kuttichitra areas, while other areas saw an increase in the number of wards.

Incidentally, the number of houses in Chelavoor was 177 in the late 1970s but increased to 3,000 in 2010. The extension of the municipal limits of Kozhikode in 1961 helped shape the master plan for the city.

Officials believe the city can generate more financial resources for development activities. Today, infrastructure development cannot keep pace with the population growth. Besides, urban bodies are reluctant to levy heavy taxes. The participation of the private sector especially in the construction sector has become inevitable for urban development.

Already the State government has adopted an urban policy to ensure a balanced urban development. One of them is to evolve a proper development strategy catering to the needs of urban society and at the same time ensuring modern comfort levels and standard of living besides preserving the natural, cultural and historical character of the city, they say.

- The Hindu Property Plus – 31.07.2010

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