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Kochi Realty Market News

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  • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

    ‘Kaloor building collapse a wake-up call’

    KOCHI, MAY 27, 2018 00:00 IST
    UPDATED: MAY 27, 2018 03:56 IST

    Committee points to need for verification of structural design

    A procedural committee set up by the District Collector to probe the collapse of a building under construction at Kaloor on April 19 said the incident should serve as a wake-up call for the authorities and engineers in the construction sector.

    “It’s only sheer luck that there was no loss of human life. There was only one building close by and this is to be dismantled now. With workers in the excavated area and with buildings close by, it would have been not just a failure but a catastrophe,” said the report prepared by the six-member committee comprising Disaster Management Deputy Collector P.D. Sheeladevi, senior town planner P.R. Ushakumari, geologist Krishnendhu, PWD executive engineer Rejina Beevi, Cochin University of Science and Technology emeritus professor Babu Jose and structural expert Anil Joseph.

    “Where the committee asked for design approval of the earth retaining system and structural design to the approving authorities, they pointed out that such an approval or design verification is not provided. Considering Cochin being in Zone III of earthquake, expected wind speeds of 140kms/hour and the deep deposits of its very soft marine clay, we strongly feel that when building permits are issued, it should be after proper scrutiny of designs and construction procedures by competent engineers.

    “When deep excavations are required for cellar floors, permits should be given only after the stability of earth retaining structure is checked and the safety of neighbouring buildings ensured (sic),” the report read.
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    • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

      Cleaning drive concludes

      KOCHI, MAY 27, 2018 00:00 IST
      UPDATED: MAY 27, 2018 03:56 IST

      The Ernakulam district administration’s pond-cleaning drive as part of the Haritha Keralam Mission that saw revival and cleaning of 108 ponds since March this year came in for praise from Finance Minister Thomas Isaac on Saturday. Inaugurating the cleaning of Chengathari chira, a pond over a two-acre area at Rayamangalam, he suggested a special protocol delineating what’s allowed in the ponds, how the inlets could be maintained, how the water could be used for farming and the like. The third phase of the drive came to an end on Saturday.

      Fish farming

      Mr. Isaac also asked the panchayats to take the lead in promoting fish farming and agriculture with Kudumbasree playing a key role.

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      • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

        Airline check-in at Metro station?

        Greeshma Gopal Giri| TNN | Updated: May 28, 2018, 07:19 IST Representative Image

        KOCHI: Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) and several stakeholders, including the state government and Cial, are looking seriously at the possibility of airline check-inand baggage drop points at Metro stations for passengers flying out of Kochi international airport.

        Transport secretary KR Jyothilal said the concept to provide airline check-in facilities at – to begin with, JLN Station – Metro stations is part of the effort to integrate Kochi Metrowith the airport. “The modalities have to be worked out. We should look into how luggage can be transported from the metro station to Cial. Talks have to be held with airline companies to find out how they can associate with this plan,” he told TOI.

        The idea is that passengers can check in their baggage, collect boarding pass and take a Metro train to Aluva. From there they can take a feeder service, in all probability an electric bus connecting Aluva Metro station and Cial. Cial managing director VJ Kurian said that the airport will provide its views on the concept once it gets a proposal from the state government or KMRL. “I have not received any proposals in this regard. Let’s see what they have planned, and then give an opinion,” he said.

        KMRL managing director APM Mohammed Hanish said that the check-in facility at Metro stations “is an exciting possibility”, and its implementation will depend on the concurrence of airline companies, international airports and support from all other stake holders.

        Airline professionals have welcomed the move. “It is a good move if there is proper connectivity from the Metro station to airport. The airlines have to take responsibility of baggage. The security screening can be done at airport,” said a senior airline official.

        Delhi Metro offers similar facilities at counters in various metro stations on Airport Express Line. The baggage gets transferred to Indira Gandhi International Airport through a secured baggage handling system (BHS). The baggage has to be checked-in a minimum of two hours and maximum of 12 hours prior to scheduled departure of the flight.

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        • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

          ASI approaches corporation for cleaning of drains

          TNN | May 28, 2018, 13:06 IST
          Waste dumped outside the walls of Mattanchery Palace in Kochi

          KOCHI: With monsoon at the doorstep, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials have written to Kochi corporation demanding to clean up drainage system outside Mattancherry Palace.

          The drains in front of the monument get clogged during rains due to dumping of waste. The clogged drains pose threat to paintings in the palace especially murals due to seepage of water through capillary action. ASI officials wrote a letter to the corporation secretary highlighting the need to clean up the clogged drains outside the monument.

          There are two underground chambers including Lady’s Chamber in the palace. During monsoon, moisture seeps in to the chambers where there are murals on Lord Vishnu’s manifestation as Mohini, Govardhana Dhara and story on Siva. Many parts have got degraded with the passage of time.

          Currently, chemical conservation of murals in the Lady’s Chamber is going on. “The local body should clean the drain at the earliest. The chamber has been used for storing things. But the capillary action takes toll on the murals. We have to clean up the drain system in the area,” said an ASI official in Mattancherry.

          While corporation secretary A S Anuja said she was on leave for a few days. “They might have sent a ter,“They might have sent a letter, but I have not seen it. I was on leave for a few days,” she said.

          While Mattancherry councillor T K Ashraf said the works in the area come under Smart City project. “Despite cleaning drains, people dump waste. The area around the monument will get a facelift in one year under the project. CCTVs will be installed in the area to prevent people littering waste and pissing on roadside,” said councillor T K Ashraf.

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          • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

            Now, a hartal against ‘sea erosion’

            TNN | May 29, 2018, 07:58 IST
            Theeradesha Samithi has called for a hartal in Chellanam to Fort Kochi coastal area on Tuesday to protest the ... Read

            KOCHI: As incessant rain continues to lash Ernakulam, sea erosion has intensified along coastal villages of the district, including Chellanam and Vypeen. The sea water has started to seep into roads and houses at Chellanam and Nayarambalam in Vypeen. According to meteorological department, the district received 3cm of rainfall on Monday.

            Dalfin T A of Chellanam Theeradesha Samrakshana Samithi said that sea incursion has flooded around 150 houses on the Companypady-Velankanni-Bazaar stretch.

            “We have been asking authorities concerned to build a seawall and groyne (pulimuttu) across the Chellanam stretch for the past few years. But nothing has happened exceptsomefake promisesto gain political mileage,” said Dalfin.

            The West Kochi Theeradesha Samrakshana Samithi has called for a hartal on Tuesday in Chellanam to Fort Kochi coastal area to protest the inordinate delay in building seawalls. Residents of Chellanam staged a sit-in protest at the coastal highway stretch on Monday.

            “Last week, fisheries minister J Mercykutty Amma said that the construction of seawall would be completed within five months. Seawalls are required at Velankanni Bazaar, Companypady, Vachakkal and Puthenthode Fishing Gap. We are tired of this lackadaisical attitude of authorities concerned,” said Jinson T, a resident of Chellanam.

            Eachtimethesea turns rough, there seems to be no respite from miseries for people, who are slowly recovering from the shock that gripped them during the Ockhi cyclone.

            “We are bearing the brunt of sea erosions especially in the monsoon. For the past 20 years, we have been asking authorities to repair the seawalls along the stretches that havebeen damaged andflattened by the waves. Sea erosion is increasingly high in this area,whichhascausedsevere damage to seawalls. We thought at least after the Ockhi cyclone, authorities will do as promised but they cheated us this time too,” said Philomena Louis, who lives near the Velankanni Matha Church, Maruvakkad, Chellanam.

            In Veliyathanparambu in Vypeen, water has seeped into around 50 houses following heavy sea erosion on Monday. Despite administrative sanction being granted to build seawalls at Edavanakkad and Veliyathanparambu in Nayarambalam, Vypeen, around four months ago, the residentssaidthatthe authorities concerned have not done anything in this regard.

            Sheela Devi, deputy collector, district disaster management authority,saidthedistrict administration has made all the arrangements to carry out flood-relief activities at Chellanam and Vypeen. She said that the flood-relief camps and shelter homes have also been opened in the coastal areas.

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            • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

              KMRL aims to raise Rs. 300 cr. from township project

              John L. Paul
              KOCHI, MAY 31, 2018 00:00 IST
              UPDATED: MAY 31, 2018 03:56 IST

              Kochi metro has incurred a loss of Rs. 60 crore in the first 12 months of its operations. Funds to act as hedge against loss being incurred in metro operations

              Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is banking on Rs. 300 crore in revenue from the sale of residential apartments, commercial space and other amenities in the 17-acre integrated township it has envisaged at Kakkanad, to achieve operational break-even status.

              The sale proceeds from the township are crucial to prevent the State government having to bear the loss totalling Rs. 60 crore incurred in the 12 months between June 2017 when the metro was commissioned and May 2018 and the possible loss the metro may incur in the coming years. The 18-km metro in the Aluva-Maharaja’s College Ground corridor has been incurring Rs. 19 lakh loss per day, official sources said.

              The daily income from ticketing and non-ticketing income like advertisements is Rs. 19 lakh, whereas operation and maintenance expenses work out to Rs. 38 lakh. Hence, the metro agency is banking on revenue from the township to meet its expenses.

              “Discussions are over with the PWD to transfer the 17 acre premises to KMRL for the township project. We hope to garner Rs. 300 crore from sale of real estate space, subject to State government approving the land transfer,” said A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish, MD of the metro agency.

              Affordable apartments

              The tender to zero in on a detailed design/master plan consultant for the Kakkanad township was cancelled in 2017 after the PWD objected to handing over the land. The affordably priced apartments will have area ranging from 800 sqft to 1,000 sqft, apart from open spaces, cycle track and walkways. The self-sustaining township would also have a solid waste treatment plant, metro sources said. They added that the capital for the project would be raised from banks and other financial institutions. A portion of the funds required would be raised also from the advance paid by those intending to buy the apartments.

              “We are very confident of the project’s financial viability and time-bound execution. All constructions on the 17-acre premises will have to adhere to the master plan prepared by the metro agency. Metro systems nationwide bank on income from such real estate sources to fund their operation and maintenance, since ticketing revenue and that from sale of advertisement space alone are insufficient,” KMRL sources said.

              On its part, the metro agency has the advantage of having to invest nothing on the purchase of land since it is government-owned.

              Metro village uncertain

              Yet another income earner, a Metro Village that the KMRL mooted on 230 acres of wetland in Muttom near Aluva is clouded in uncertainty. “It will be taken up depending on the response to the Kakkanad township project,” they said.


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              • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                Waterlogging threat on MG Road continues

                M K Sunil Kumar| TNN | Updated: May 31, 2018, 13:33 IST Representative image

                KOCHI: Chances are high for waterlogging to continue on MG Road during this monsoon.

                According to Kochi corporation officials, waterlogging on MG Road can be solved only after removing silt from the drains, which is not practical during the monsoon.

                At a meeting held in the corporation office on Wednesday to discuss the steps to be adopted for checking waterlogging in the city, officials said that drains are clogged.

                "Along the stretch from KPCC Junction to South, the drains are clogged with construction waste. Corporation officials said that Metro contractors are dumping waste in the drains," said P M Harris, corporation standing committee for works chairman.

                "Along Madhava ********-KPCC Junction stretch, we had cleaned the drains some time ago. We have asked our officials to clean the drain by putting holes on the sidewalls of the drain to avoid removing tiles paved on the footpath above the drains," he said.

                The corporation authorities have given instruction to officials to focus on areas that are prone to waterlogging. Areas such as KSRTC bus station, SRV school area, High Court Junction and old commissioner office have been identified as areas prone to waterlogging.

                The corporation would constitute squads to address waterlogging issues in different parts of the city. Each squad should take steps to clear waterlogging in their areas.

                District administration on Monday gave instruction to Kerala water authority (KWA) to take steps to raise a 600mm pipe across the culvert near PVS Hospital to ensure smooth flow of water through Thevara-Perandoor Canal. The pipe, which touches the water level of the canal, prevents flow of water through the canal. This is said to be one of the reasons for waterlogging in Kaloor area. But, the KWA hasn't started the work so far.


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                • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                  Kochi corporation's crematoriums in dire straits

                  M K Sunil Kumar| TNN | Updated: May 31, 2018, 13:51 IST
                  Fort Kochi Veli

                  KOCHI: Thanks to the lackadaisical attitude of authorities concerned, the eight crematoriums owned by Kochi corporation are in dire straits.

                  Kochi corporation turned the Pachalam crematorium into a place to park its garbage trucks and segregate the waste. "The place to perform the last rites cannot be used due to stench emanating from the garbage. The Bharat Dharma Jana Sena(BDJS), Ernakulam constituency committee, has sent a memorandum to mayor Soumini Jain seeking immediate action for solving the issues plaguing the crematorium.

                  "Trucks transporting waste are being parked on the premises of the crematorium. Waste segregation is also being done here," K K Peethambaran, president of BDJS constituency committee.

                  "Many vehicles, especially those from other districts, are being parked inside the crematorium premises. There is suspicion that the caretaker of the crematorium is renting out the premises for parking. Used liquor bottles strewn all over the place shows that the premises are the hideout for unscrupulous elements," he said.

                  There isn't any resting place for the relatives and friends, who gather for cremation.

                  According to V K Minimol, chairperson, standing committee for health, Kochi corporation, it is up to the contractor of the crematorium to take care of cleaning and other aspects of Pachalam crematorium. "The contractor charges Rs 3,000 each for cremating a body. So, he should take care of things. If any outside vehicles are parked inside the crematorium, the contractor should take strict action," Minimol said.

                  Defending the action of the corporation, she said: "The corporation trucks are being parked and waste is segregated in other end of the compound and it wouldn't affect the functioning of the crematorium."

                  In Edakochi, the structure for two LPG-fuelled crematoriums had been constructed using K Babu's MLA fund three years ago. "But, it could not be made functional as the furnaces and other equipment are not installed. Now, a crematorium with single furnace, which runs on firewood alone, is functional but it can't cater to the needs of the residents. Bodies from the locality are being sent to other crematorium as only one body can be cremated per day," a resident said.

                  Corporation authorities said that they are unable to terminate the contract as it would lead to lapse of funds earmarked for the purpose. "We had warned the contractor several times and even thought of terminating the contract. It was from the asset development funds of former MLA and minister K Babu that the amount was spent for construction LPG-based crematoriums. If we terminate the contractor, the amount will get lapsed and we will have to find money on our own. Moreover, the cost also will go up," Minimol said.

                  In Edappally, it was almost three years ago that the work on an LPG crematorium started. But the authorities concerned are waiting for the burner. Once the burner is procured, the new facility can be functional. "It was after exerting pressure that the contractor started the work. Now, he says that a burner will have to be imported. We think there are reasons like cost escalation especially due to GST that slow pedal the work," Minimol said.

                  In Palluruthy, where highest number of cremations are conducted, there is no provision to remove ashes and other remains from a pit. The construction of a stage and other facilities designed for the relatives and friends to pay homage to the departed souls has been abandoned halfway for the past six or seven years. "It was after spending almost Rs 1 crore that crematorium was renovated in 2005. We will bring the status of the crematorium to the notice of authorities concerned," said C M Dineshmani, former mayor and MLA, from whose funds that cost for renovation was met.

                  In Ravipuram, the structure requires renovation as cracks have appeared on its walls. There is no rest place for the relatives despite having adequate space. A tank is also required to store water for various rituals.

                  The crematorium at Pachalam also has many stories of negligence to tell. Some of the residents have come up with a demand that the land should be given for setting up a playground. The crematorium at Koovappadom in Mattancherry doesn't have rest place while the one at Veli in Fort Kochi, the beautification of which has just completed is functioning from a small premise where entry and parking of vehicles are difficult. Moreover, the structure at Veli requires reinforcement.


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                  • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                    Now, offices at collectorate go eco-friendly

                    Representative Image
                    KOCHI: Officials with Haritha Keralam Mission said that the first phase of implementing green protocol at offices and premises of Ernakulamcollectorate has been successfully completed.
                    Sujith Karun, district coordinator of Haritha Keralam Mission, said that as part of embracing an eco-friendly system, vertical gardens and flower pots have been placed on the collectorate premises.

                    “Our idea is to make government offices greener by adopting guidelines under the green protocol proposed by the mission. The implementation of the green protocol at government offices will set a new trend. In the first phase, the programme has been implemented in select government institutions, including the collectorate. In the second phase, it will be extended to all other departments,” said Karun.“The significance of sustainable and eco-friendly living is increasing ever than before. While there are many ways to adopt green-friendly practices, we found that having a green wall in the form of vertical garden — made of 600 succulent and indoor plants — as a good option as it requires lowmaintenance. The vertical garden is now installed at the visitors’ lounge in the collector’s chamber and in the ground floor. In addition, flower pots are placed on the collectorate premises,” said an official with the Haritha Kerala Mission In the second phase, we would start small-scale organic farming in the backyard of the collectorate, he said.

                    Along with the green protocol enforcement, those working in government offices have to adopt measures to stop wastage of water and electricity. The departments will have to save money on electricity and water bills.

                    The deputy directorate of panchayats in Kakkanad is one such office which is spearheading the green movement.

                    Preethy M D, deputy superintendent, directorate of panchayat, Kakkanad, said that their department has banned plastic and have also set up a separate facility to segregate waste materials.

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                    • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                      Islanders seek complete exemption from CRZ norms

                      Sudha Nambudiri| tnn | Updated: Jun 3, 2018, 23:57 IST
                      Kochi: Island panchayats in Kochi are seeking complete exemption from the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) as many plots are adjoining the waterfront.

                      Residents of Kadamakkudy and Mulavukad have demanded that they should be given exemption from CRZ for building homes.

                      “Areas up to 20 metres from the high tide line have to be earmarked as a ‘No Development Zone’. We are seeking complete exemption for building homes for our residents. Most of them get a share of property for say 10 cents land, which is broken into 3-5 cents after division. So, if they have to leave 20-m from the high tide line, then we lose a lot of land,” said Kadamakudy panchayat president Shalini Babu.

                      She said that among the nine islands, which are part of Kadamakkudy panchayat, around 1,800 acres are fish farms and paddy fields.

                      “We also have Vembanad Lake on the other end. So, the panchayat council has decided to seek complete exemption for islanders.”

                      “A lot of our panchayat has backwaters and farms. So, the little area that we have should be permitted for constructing houses,” said Viji Sajan, Mulavukkad panchayat president.

                      Cheranelloor panchayat vice-president C K Raju said that they have got nearly 100 applications seeking approval for home constructions. Meanwhile, the Kerala Latin Catholic Association (KLCA) submitted a memorandum to the Centre seeking exemptions for dwelling units for local communities and fisherfolk.

                      “We believe that the new CRZ notification has more benefits for the tourism sector than for residents. The Centre appears to have given more stress on ‘Sagarmala’ project across all coasts but unfortunately this will benefit many tourist projects,” said KLCA state general secretary Sherry Thomas.

                      Meanwhile, Kochi corporation hasn’t submitted any suggestions seeking relaxations in the CRZ norms. There were demands from the fisherfolk community that they should be given relaxation while constructing houses.

                      “There was a demand that the fishermen who construct houses below 750 sq ft should be exempted from CRZ. But, the corporation hasn’t submitted the suggestion to the state government so far,” said K T Cheshire, an RTI activist who moved the court seeking eviction of encroachment on Chilavannoor lake.

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