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Kochi Realty Market News

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  • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

    Phase-II of Kochi Metro only after Centre's nod, says Kerala CM

    TNN | Updated: Mar 15, 2018, 09:17 IST Representative image

    KOCHI: Giving a jolt to the Metro project, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government will take up the task of implementing the second phase only after getting necessary clearance from the Centre.

    Replying to a submission by MLA VP Sajeendran, in the state assembly, Vijayan said state government was asked to resubmit a detailed project report (DPR) incorporating changes based on the new Metro policy announced by the Centre. "The DPR prepared in February 2018 is under the consideration of the state government," he said.

    He said the state will initiate further steps after submitting the report to the Centre and only after receiving all approvals required for implementing the project.

    In May 2017, administrative sanction was given for a sum of Rs 2,577 crore for the project and a DPR was submitted before the Centre seeking final clearance. The state government sanctioned Rs 189 crore and necessary administrative sanction for facilitating land acquisition as an initial step for implementing second phase of the project from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to Infopark.

    As per a government order on September 20, 2017, an amount of Rs 20 crore has been kept aside for land acquisition. The district administration has initiated the process of conducting an environmental impact study. "As the Centre has come out with a new Metro policy, we will have to get their approval for starting the extension works," said the chief minister.

    Announcing Delhi Metro Rail Corporation's (DMRC) decision to quit the Light Metro projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, Metro Man E Sreedharan pointed out that after submitting DPR, it would usually take two years to get it approved by the Centre.

    Hence, generally state governments give sanction to start work on the project after receiving DPR. Citing examples of Metro construction in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu the Centre provided approval after commencement of works using the funds given by the state government.

    Meanwhile, speaking on land acquisition procedures for Metro, deputy collector (Kochi Metro) P B Sunillal dismissed allegations that there was delay in acquiring land for the project.

    "For Thykoodam substation 73.46 ares have been acquired and for Thykoodam station 38.99 ares have been acquired. The social impact assessment and other procedures to acquire land have been completed in Thykoodam and Pettah," he said.

    He said for Vyttila-Pettah stretch 1.4837 hectares have been acquired while the acquisition process for 0.5789 hectare for Metro stations at Pettah and Tripunithura, and 0.928 hectare for widening the stretch of road between Pettah-Tripunithura has started. "We have issued notification in this regard," he said. However, Sunillal said that process for "acquiring land between Pettah and SN Junction is yet to begin."

    The district administration has also decided to carry out the social impact assessment study for the phase-II extension of Palarivattom-Kakkanad Metro line by Rajagiri outreach.

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    • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

      'Six service providers agree to render service in non-degradable waste management'

      Sreedevi Chitharanjan| TNN | Updated: Mar 13, 2018, 19:15 IST
      Mayor inaugurates national level capacity building workshop.

      KOZHIKODE: District collector U V Jose here on Tuesday said that six service providers have agreed to render service for the effective management of non-degradable waste generating in the district.

      Addressing the gathering during his presidential address at a national level capacity building workshop on waste management rules 2016 organised by the city corporation with the help of ministry of housing and urban affairs, environment, forest and climate change, central pollution control board and national productivity council, he said.

      Haritha karma sena was constituted in 70 panchayats and six municipalities and corporation in the district under the zero waste Kozhikode project.

      "Unfortunately, public registering protest against the material recovery facility centres set up for the segregation and disposal of collected non-degradable waste keeping wrong notion about failed waste disposal schemes in the state in their minds and the district administration has succeeded in creating public awareness to resolve their apprehensions at great extent," he said.

      He said district administration has initiated punitive action against five panchayat secretaries under the disaster management act for failing to set up material recovery facility centre. Collector said Kozhikode corporation authorities have set a model in solid waste management in front of other local self-government bodies. But the question -is it enough!

      Mayor Thottathil Raveendran in his inaugural address said that the state government has shortlisted seven companies to set up advanced decentralised plant for the disposal of waste management. He said first such plant will be come up in Kozhikode Corporation. He said the public should change their attitude and should consider that disposal of generating waste is his own responsibility.

      District police Chief Kaliraj Mahesh Kumar who was the chief guest on the occasion said that police department now started keeping a vigil to nab illegal waste dumpers on the public spots following increasing complaints.

      District collector released the animation film produced by the corporation on zero waste Kozhikode project having three minutes duration by handing over a copy of it to Deputy mayor Meera Darshak on the occasion.

      Experts took class on solid waste management rules, 2016; hazardous and other wastes (management and transboundary movement) rules 2016; biomedical waste management rules 2016, plastic waste management rules 2016, e-waste management rules 2016, construction and demolition waste management rules 2016 on the occasion.

      C Narendra, director of national productivity council, health standing committee chairman K V Baburaj , corporation secretary Mrunmai Joshi and others attended the function.

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      • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

        Seaport-Airport Road in extremely dangerous condition: Report

        TNN | Mar 17, 2018, 07:55 IST The report also demanded conversion of the road into a four-lane road in the wake of increasing traffic.

        KOCHI: A combined inspection of the stretch of Seaport-Airport Road near the traffic signal at civil station, Kakkanad, by the motor vehicles department(MVD) and police has found that the road is in extremely dangerous condition with the carriage way (tarred portion) and shoulder line (sidewalk) having major height difference.

        The inspection began from the spot where Ambili, a CISFofficer, lost her life after getting run-over by a tanker truck. The woman, an assistant sub-inspector, was trying to get her two-wheeler back on to the carriage way from the sidewalk when it overturned. Ambili was run over by a truck.

        The departments will now approach the district collector with a comprehensive report to avoid such accidents in the future.

        According to R Madhu, traffic CI, Edappally, the priority would be to level the road and the sidewalk.

        “The accident happened between the traffic signal and Aryaas hotel. However, our inspection has found similar issues in several parts of the stretch. Soil from the sidewalk has eroded causing the height difference. The sidewalk should be filled with concrete or gravel as soon as possible,” he said.

        The report also demanded conversion of the road into a four-lane road in the wake of increasing traffic. Several important establishments like Infopark, SEZ, collectorate and Cochin Refinery are on this route and there are several residential projects coming up here.

        The inspection team conducted checking in places where frequent accidents are reported. Officers took note of the parking of the vehicles along the road and shops constructed close to the road.

        Officials said absence of proper bus bays are also constitutes to accidents on the stretch. Buses stopping along the road pick up passengers leading to traffic jams. Accidents also happen when cars and bikes attempt to overtake the buses as they halt.

        The team found no traffic signs to alert drivers at any part of seaport-airport road stretch.

        According to the inspection team, a four-lane road is needed to contain the traffic at peak hours. There is an immediate need to ban parking of vehicles at both sides of the road. Similarly, illegal shops operating close to the road must be immediately removed.

        Deepu N K, a motor vehicle inspector, said that the accident on Wednesday should be an eye opener. “Many accidents have been happening on the stretch, however, they were rarely fatal. There is an urgent need for repair work considering the huge traffic in the stretch,” said Deepu.

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        • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

          Parishad warns of huge environmental impact

          TNN | Updated: Mar 18, 2018, 10:14 IST
          Representative image

          KANNUR: Even as the CPM has strengthened the campaign against Vayalkilikal, the collective of the local residents of Keezhattur in the district who oppose the proposed national highway bypass through the paddy fields there, the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad(KSSP), has said that the environmental impact of the project would be huge and hence alternative means should be explored.

          The KSSP, which did a study of the bypass alignment through Keezhattur and also the alternative option of developing the existing road through Thaliparamba town, said building flyovers in the crowded places is more feasible than reclaiming a 4.5km stretch of paddy field.

          Moreover, it will require at least 1.25 lakh truckloads of soil to fill the land even if the level is elevated by 3.5m and this will naturally lead to demolition of hills, which again will cause environmental problems, said the study report.

          Against the backdrop of such issues, an environmental impact assessment study should be conducted and the best option is to develop the existing road, it said. Further, when the new KSTP road via Pazhayangadi and Kannapuram is commissioned, it will naturally reduce the vehicular traffic on the highway passing through Thaliparamba and hence if the road is widened to 30m and a flyover is built between Ezham Mile and Lourde Hospital, the issue could be solved, said the report.

          When it comes to development, it should be people-friendly and there should be consensus, said the report, which questions the CPM stand that there will not be any environmental impact.

          Though there is an argument that building flyovers is expensive, the reality is that it will be beneficial in the long run as it will not require any maintenance for the next 50 years, said KSSP.

          Meanwhile, the Vayalkilikal is all set to revive their campaign with the support of environmental organizations and the new round will begin on March 25.

          "If you go ahead with the so-called development, without considering the environmental impact, it will be disastrous and the reality is that they are adamant about developing the bypass through the paddy fields though alternatives are available," said Suresh Keezhattur, an activist and local resident.

          He said the fight was not for Keezhattur only but for the cause of environment and they would accept the support of any group that comes forward to fight for the cause.

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          • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

            'Concrete jungles pose threat to house sparrows'

            TNN | Updated: Mar 18, 2018, 06:48 IST Representative image

            KOCHI: The bird watchers in the city who assembled at Marine Drive and Broadway to scout for the house sparrows were disappointed to find that the population of house sparrows is dwindling.

            According to a random survey conducted by Kottayam-based NGO Tropical Institute of Ecological Sciences (TIES) on Saturday, a concrete elevation of the households and modern-day architecture as one of the major reasons behind the rare sighting of sparrows. The survey was done in connection with the World House Sparrow Day, which falls on March 20.

            "Last year we found around 450 house sparrows but this time we only came across around 332 of them. There is around 30% fall in just one year. In Marine Drive area, 198 house sparrows which include 97 males and 101 females were spotted while 134 birds, including 68 females were spotted," said Sharath Babu, nature education officer, TIES.

            House sparrows are domesticated birds so they love to be with human beings, said Punnen Kurian, secretary, TIES said that the old houses with window panes, stack and ventilators used to be their favourite places but those nesting havens for birds are fast disappearing. In cities, these birds make nests under the eaves, in cracks and holes in the walls of the buildings which are not relatively safe."

            "Food scarcity has also led to the rapid declining of these bird species. Earlier, shopkeepers at grain shops used to find house sparrows as a lucky mascot and gave them food. But these days most of these shops are located inside concrete buildings and as a result birds are not getting food. The hatchlings of sparrows depend on insects entirely for about two weeks from their birth. Spraying of insecticides and toxic chemicals to kill insects leaves them with no food and as a result they even die. Cutting down of tress and climate change are also having a negative impact on the house sparrows," said Kurian.

            "It has been found that electromagnetic radiations (EMR) from mobile communication towers are causing a threat to the existence of sparrows and it can affect their breeding," he added.

            Meanwhile, R Sugathan, a renowned ornithologist, said that if people can spend some time to arrange nesting places as well as keep water and grains in pots to feed sparrows in their balconies or terraces and gardens it can result in a positive change.

            "For the past few years there has been a drastic decline in the number of house sparrows. So conducting surveys and studies every year alone won't increase the population of house sparrows. People and communities have to take a joint initiative to protect them," said Sugathan.

            Last edited March 19 2018, 06:37 PM.
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            • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

              Medical body calls for steps to tackle pollution

              Shyama Rajagopal
              KOCHI, MARCH 19, 2018 00:00 IST
              UPDATED: MARCH 19, 2018 03:53 IST

              There are over 65 lakh people in the country affected by respiratory diseases.FILE PHOTO Number of patients with respiratory diseases on the rise, find studies

              It is high time that the city took steps to control air pollution for soon masks may become a regular accessory that people have to wear when they step out of their homes.

              The warning comes from the Academy of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (APCCM) that had recently coordinated talks between various government agencies and non-governmental organisations to present a document to the District Collector.

              There are over 65 lakh people in the country affected by respiratory diseases. Of these, studies have pointed out that about 25% of deaths in the country are happening because of health problems created by air pollution, according to pulmonologist Ramesh Nair, the president of APCCM. Children were the most affected by the health hazards of pollution, he said.

              Studies pointed out that the number of patients in hospitals with respiratory diseases had gone up, he said. “Society needs to know how badly polluted the atmosphere is,” he added.

              Air pollution monitors were required for people to know the kind of environment that prevailed around them, he said. The Academy had procured three such machines. One machine each was handed over to Hibi Eden, MLA, and District Collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirullah. Another one will be handed over to Mayor Soumini Jain.

              APCCM’s initiative to take up a study on how pollution affects health had resulted in the formation of the platform, Kochi Fights Air Pollution ’18 (KFAP ’18), that will provide guidance and details on pollution control activities to the implementing agencies. The idea was to bring many stakeholders together, said Dr. Nair.

              The Kochi Corporation, police, residents’ associations, district administration, Kochi metro, Indian Medical Association, Kochi, and individuals such as former MP P. Rajeev who had taken up a slew of healthcare activities during his term were part of the seminar conducted earlier from which a document was evolved to present to the District Collector.

              The air pollution monitors will provide data to the government agencies, based on which the government can form strategies.


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              • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                Well recharging on to fight water scarcity

                STAFF REPORTER
                KOZHIKODE, MARCH 19, 2018 00:00 IST
                UPDATED: MARCH 19, 2018 03:58 IST
                Special fund from district panchayat to be mobilised to realise the target

                Various local bodies in Kozhikode district are making efforts to set up ground water recharging facilities attached to open wells to combat water scarcity.

                A special fund of the district panchayat and funds from local panchayats will be mobilised to achieve the target ahead of the monsoon season.

                Unlike before, construction of rainwater harvesting tanks and conventional style of water conservation will not be given prominence this time.

                Poor maintenance

                Incidentally, the district panchayat and other local bodies changed their stance as many such tanks had failed to serve their purpose owing to poor maintenance.

                Kozhikode block panchayat president N. Manoj Kumar says the panchayat has an exclusive scheme named Haritha Bhavanam (green house) to promote water conservation initiatives and well water recharging work.

                No fewer than any 100 wells are on the approved list to be covered under the scheme, he adds.

                Most grama panchayats depend on the labour force of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) to complete the work.


                They also promise subsidies up to Rs. 8,000 for those who support the implementation of the scheme under the technical guidance of the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM).

                According to the district panchayat authorities, another exclusive scheme, Akasa Ganga, is also being implemented in various grama panchayats to support the well recharging initiative. The scheme aims to cover around 50,000 wells in as many as 70 panchayats in the district by the end of the current fiscal.

                Rainwater collected from rooftops will be let into the wells after proper filtering. The installation of a single unit costs around Rs. 8,000, but the beneficiaries can claim government subsidy, they say.

                Groundwater levels

                Grama panchayats where considerable decline in groundwater levels has been noticed have also come up with projects to address the crisis.

                Responding pro-actively to the concern of local residents, the Panangad grama panchayat is planning to set up recharging facilities for as many as 232 wells. The panchayat authorities say that they will invest Rs. 20 lakh on the project.

                Interestingly, well water recharging initiatives taken up by the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) last year were a thumping success with a coverage of around 7,000 wells.

                Jala Subhiksha, a special project implemented with the support of MNREGS workers, covered up to 13 grama panchayats in Kozhikode district where water scarcity has been found rampant.

                The DRDA has identified around 20,000 wells in the district to be covered in different phases.


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                • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                  Minister slams protesters in Kannur over NH bypass construction

                  Abhijith VM| Samayam Malayalam | Mar 20, 2018, 14:43 IST

                  KOCHI: Kerala Public Works minister G Sudhakaran hit out at the protesters in Kannur, who were opposing the government plan to construct a National Highway bypass through paddy fields.

                  The minister in a strong-worded statement referred to the protesters as "vultures of the paddy field", an apparent sarcastic reference to the moniker of the name of the protest group Vayalkkilika (Birds of the paddy field).

                  Minister Sudhakaran's remark was in Kerala Legislative Assembly while answering a question from the opposition. He slammed the protests and called the movement 'anti-development'.

                  Keezhattoor, where this agitation is taking place, is a communist stronghold. The ruling CPM has suspended many of its local members for aligning with the farmers.

                  Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has also supported minister Sudhakaran, and said the project was inevitable for the development of the region.

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                    Alencherry apologises for land deal row

                    TNN | Mar 24, 2018, 06:29 IST
                    Representative image

                    IDUKKI: On Friday evening, in a meet brokered by Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC), there finally appeared to be a resolution in sight to the land row involving the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese, which was fast becoming an embarrassment for the entire Syro Malabar church.

                    Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, whose decision allegedly caused huge financial loss to the church, is learnt to have formally apologised to the priests spearheading the campaign for his removal.

                    The meeting, that included Malankara cardinal Mar Baselious, also decided to file a complaint against land broker Saju Kunnel.

                    End in sight to row over church land deal

                    A solution seems to have been reached in the ongoing controversy over the land deals in the Ernakulam-Angalamali archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Church. At a reconciliation meeting held in Kochi on Friday, Cardinal George Alencherry, the head of the Church, is learnt to have apologized to the priests of the archdiocese for the controversial land deals.

                    Friday’s meeting was initiated by the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC) after the bickering over the issue started spreading to the other dioceses of the Church. It was held in the presence of Malankara Catholic Church major archbishop Cardinal Baselios Cleemis and other KCBC officials.

                    The meeting also decided to file a police complaint against land broker Saju Varghese Kunnel for the financial loss suffered in the deal, said Fr Benny Maramparampil who had headed the six-member panel appointed by the Church to probe the deals. “Saju Varghese has already credited Rs 13.5 crore to the archdiocese account. The cardinal will be attending a meeting of the Presbyteral Council of the archdiocese called in Kochi on Saturday to discuss the future course of action. A meeting of the priests of the archdiocese will, meanwhile, be held on Monday. The Presbyteral Council meeting is expected to take a final decision to the issue,” said Fr Benny.

                    The resolution comes following six rounds of talks held between Cardinal Alencherry and representatives of the priests of the archdiocese. The talks were mediated by Latin archbishop Soosa Pakiam, who is also the president of KCBC, Cardinal Cleemis and KCBC spokesperson Fr Varghese Vallikkat.

                    It has now been decided to sell two lands owned by the archdiocese to pay off its debts. Presently, the archdiocese is paying Rs 75 lakh per month towards loan interest for a medical college it had planned to set up. The project has since been cancelled and efforts are on to sell the land acquired for it at Mattur.

                    It was in 2016, the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese appointed a committee to sell five plots of land owned by it in and around Kochi to pay off its debt. It is alleged that land worth around Rs 27 crore was sold for about Rs 13.5 crore. One of the priests involved in the deal allegedly told the church committee that probed the deal that Rs 26 crore was received but only Rs 8 crore was credited in the church’s account, a police complaint had stated.


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                    • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                      Government sits idle on KSEB land encroachment at Pallivasal

                      TNN | Apr 7, 2018, 09:51 IST

                      IDUKKI: While the land conversion bid in Wayanad is triggering controversy in the state, the government has failed to take action against the KSEB land encroachment at Pallivasal near Munnar.

                      In January 2017, former Devikulam sub-collector Sreeram Venkitaraman had submitted a detailed report to the district collector seeking urgent intervention to reclaim the government land.

                      “Over 30 acres of KSEBownedland was encroached at Pallivasal and sold to the resort mafia. Several private parties constructed resorts on the land. Over 30 title deeds which have been issuedfor the KSEB land have been handed over to private parties. As per the records, over 27.17 acres of land have already been handedover tothem . The encroachments happened in the last 30 years. Over 196 acres of land was owned by KSEB near Pallivasal power house,” said the report. The collector submitted the report to the government and it was sent back to the collector, seeking more details.

                      “Earlier, I had directed Devikulam sub-collector to take action against the encroachment. The action should be taken at the tehsildar level. I willcheck the present statusof the issue,” Idukki district collector G R Gokulsaid.

                      Now, officials at Devikulam are busy distributing NOCs for various activities and thisisthe reason of thedelayin taking action againstthe land encroachment, said Gokul.

                      Revenue sources say that many big groups had bought land at Pallivasal and the government was allegedlying try to protect them. Sreeram Venkitaraman's report clearly pointed out serious malpractices behind the land deal. Over 30 resorts have been constructed there, most of them having eight to 13 storeys which can’t be acceptable in an economically fragile area like Pallivasal which isconsideredtobeone withhigh chancesof land slide.

                      “Some former KSEB officials had encroached upon the government land and they managed to get title deeds. Revenue officials also helped them in this regard. After collecting title deeds, these officials sold out the land to private parties,” said the report.

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