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Kochi Realty Market News

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  • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

    Beaches to be cleaned

    KOCHI, JULY 13, 2018 00:00 IST
    UPDATED: JULY 13, 2018 05:04 IST

    CMLRE director M. Sudhakar (left) formally launching the clean-up programme in Fort Kochi on Thursday. Initiative launched at Saude beach in Fort Kochi

    Two beaches in Ernakulam and Alappuzha districts will be cleaned up round the year.

    Scientists of the Kochi-based Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, launched the programme at Saude beach in Fort Kochi on Thursday. Mararikulam North is the other beach identified for the programme.

    CMLRE researchers will lead the programme in association with Saude West Side Residents’ Association, Student Police Cadets, and NSS volunteers from Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School, Thevara. The clean-up programme forms part of the Centre’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan initiative.

    Plastic refuse brought by fishermen from sea and debris collected from the shore will be stored and later taken to plastic shredding units for converting them into granules. Residents’ associations will lead the manual collection on the beaches. The Centre will fund the initiative for a year, according to organisers.

    CMLRE director M. Sudhakar formally launched the programme. Besides cleaning the beaches, vetiver seedlings will be planted around 50 waterbodies in Alappuzha district.

    “The fibrous roots of the plants remove minerals from water and render it clean. The roots can go up to six metres in depth and can bind soil together, thereby preventing soil erosion,” said K.V. Jayachandran, former director of research, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Panangad.

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    • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

      Kochi-Lakshadweep seaplane soon?

      Vikram Vinod | TNN | Jul 14, 2018, 08:35 IST
      A seaplane owned by the firm has been parked at Cial for two years, awaiting clearances

      KOCHI: Though the state government has decided to ground its seaplane project, the Kochi-based Seabird Seaplane Ltd is likely to begin operations. The company is expecting to receive the approvals in the next three months and kickstart daily trips from the Cochin International Airport Ltd (Cial) to Lakshadweep.

      Captain Suraj Jose, CEO of Seabird, said the company was not banking on the business prospects for seaplane tourism in the state because of protest from members of the fishing community.

      “From the scratch, our plan was to operate services connecting Cial and Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. We are all set to do so,” said Jose.

      The company, which was founded in 2013, has been awaiting approvals to launch its operations for quite some time now. A seaplane owned by the firm has been parked at Cial for nearly two years and it has paid around Rs 3 lakh as parking fee for the Rs 15-crore (including import duty) eight-seater aircraft.

      A few months ago, Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari had said that India has the potential to run around 10,000 seaplanes. Seabird is now confident of beginning its operations in the next three months once they receive an NOC.

      Jose, has worked as a pilot on chartered aircraft, besides offering his services as a consultant to Jal Hans, a project by Pawan Hans, which introduced the first seaplane services in India in 2010. Jose said currently Seabird is the only active seaplane service provider in India.

      “Currently, there is only one regular Air India service to Lakshadweep and most of the time it is fully-booked. We plan to operate a passenger flight in the morning daily and the tickets for direct flights to Kavaratti will cost about Rs 7,000. After it returns from Lakshadweep to Kochi, it will be operated for chartered services, which would cost around Rs 80,000 per hour,” said Jose.

      The company has another seaplane, in the US, which will be brought here once services to Lakshawdeep begins. The new plane is expected to operate services to Andaman and Nicobar Island. “With the kind of backwaters we have, there is a lot of potential in Kerala for seaplane services. It is a tourism model that can help in development of places which are difficult to access. I believe the seaplane tourism market in Lakshadweep and Andamans is going to grow and eventually it will expand in Kerala as well,” he said.

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      • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

        Builders woo home buyers with Pradhan Manthri Awas Yojana scheme benefit

        Greeshma Gopal Giri | TNN | Jul 14, 2018, 07:58 IST
        Prominent builders are now wooing home buyers by highlighting the benefits of Pradhan Manthri Awas Yojana

        KOCHI: The city’s realty sector, facing an extended lull, is trying make a comeback. Prominent builders are now wooing home buyers by highlighting the benefits of Pradhan Manthri Awas Yojana (PMAY). They ardently hope that people belonging to the middle-income groups would invest in apartment projects coming up in the city.

        “Builders realized that affordable housing is the way forward as it provides hope for developers, who are hit by the lull in realty sector. The PMAY covers families having an income up to Rs18 lakh per year. But, the benefits of the scheme are available only to those who do not have dwelling units in their names,” said a city-based banker.

        While developers are sitting on lakhs of unsold apartments costing above Rs 50 lakh, there is a huge demand for budget homes. Home buyers in the middle-income group 1(category: MIG-1) having an annual income of up to Rs 12 lakh can now buy an apartment having an area of up to 120 sq metres (1,291sq ft) by availing the benefit of concessional rates applicable through PMAY. Those earning up to Rs 18 lakh per annum (category MIG-II) can now buy a house of area up to 150 sq metres (1,614 sq ft) and avail the benefits of PMAY.

        Kochi-based Yasoram Builders is offering ready-tooccupy 3BHK apartments in the city with the benefits of PMAY.

        “Banks provide 80% of the total cost of the unit as housing loans. The buyer will have to bring in the remaining 20% of the cost. While filing the application forbank loan, the buyer should fill in a separate form for availing PMAY benefits. It will help the buyer get the benefit of subsidy on the interest rate provided by the Union government,” said a representative of Yasoram Builders.

        Bankers pointed out that for a loan of up to Rs 6 lakh, people need to pay only 6.5% interest rate and if a person takes Rs 9 lakh, the interest subsidy is 4%. The interest subsidy is 3% for a loan amount of Rs 12 lakh. Benefits under this scheme will be available for a maximum tenure of 20 years.

        “While PMAY will be attractive for those looking for budget homes up to Rs 50 lakh, those targeting to buy houses above this range may not find the benefits attractive. The interest rates depend on the income of the beneficiary household. It can be considered a good marketing move,” said a banker.

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        • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

          PWD partly resumes road work at Vyttila Junction

          TNN | Jul 14, 2018, 08:04 IST
          A damaged service road at Vyttila

          KOCHI: The road relaying works at Vyttila and on adjacent service roads were partly resumed with the rain subsiding considerably in the city, on Friday.

          PWD officials stated that they would finish the road maintenance work as soon as possible.

          “We have almost finished tile-laying works at Vyttila Junction and on the stretch to Vyttila Mobility Hub. The tilelaying works at Kundannoor service roads are also progressing,” said an official with PWD NH wing.

          However, the work got affected in between due to unexpected showers. But officials are hopeful that they would be able to restore the condition of roads.

          Due to rain, PWD NH wing had failed to meet the deadline set to repair damaged roads for the fourth time in a row.

          “We were hopeful of completing the road maintenance works, including raising the height of service roads from Kundannoor Junction to Vyttila Junction at par with the national highways by July 12. Since the rain continued to play spoilsport, we had no other choice but to stop the work. We have completed 90% of road relaying works at Vyttila and Kundannoor as directed by the collector,” said an official with PWD NH wing.

          “But relaying of service roads needs to be completed. We can only carry out repair works at night in busy stretches like Vyttila. This is has resulted in inordinate delay,” said the official.

          To solve the never-ending traffic snarls due to potholed and muddy roads at Vyttila Junction, the district administration along with PWD NH wing had decided to relay roads by laying tiles and to increase the width of the service road on the Kundannoor-Vyttila stretch on a war footing.

          The decision was taken at a meeting held between district collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla and PWD principal secretary Kamala Vardhana Rao on June 16.

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          • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

            Green signal to construct 208 houses along the coast

            TNN | Jul 15, 2018, 06:37 IST

            The applications were sanctioned by district-level coastal zone management committee headed by district collec... Read More

            KOCHI: District collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla on Saturday granted approval to 208 applications submitted by 24 local self-government bodies seeking permission to construct houses along coastal stretch or in waterfront areas.

            The applications were sanctioned by district-level coastal zone management committee headed by district collector. Though the district committee received 387 applications, only 208 got the green signal to go ahead.

            "As many as 187 applications submitted to the committee came from applicants, who have registered under the Life (livelihood inclusion and financial empowerment) Mission scheme.The committee has sought more details from secretaries of various panchayats for 58 applications, demanding permission to construct homes along the coastal stretches in the district. Additionally, five applications have been forwarded to Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority," said an official with district administration.

            The authorities said that clearance have been granted after making sure it is not violating the existing CRZ norms, including the minimum 50 m limit from the water bodies. Chellanam panchayat submitted 61 applications seeking permission to build houses in their coastal stretch. Pallippuram panchayat sought approval for 50 applications to build houses and Kuzhipally panchayat sought approval for 42 applications.

            The panchayats, which submitted the least amount of applications include Kadamakudy panchayat with 13 applications, Vadakekkara panchayat (10) Chendamangalam and Kottuvally panchayat (9), Kumbalam (8) Cheranelloor (5) as well as Kumbalangi and Udayamperoor panchayat (4 each). Kochi corporation and Maradu municipality submitted 11 & 2 applications, respectively to the coastal zone management committee.

            Meanwhile, various local bodies that come under the purview of coastal regulation zone had a mixed response.

            Officials with Chellanam panchayat, which submitted the maximum number of applications seeking permission to construct and repair homes in coastal areas, welcomed the decision.

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            • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

              Going green: Kitchen gardens start yielding returns for city residents

              Sudha Nambudiri | TNN | Jul 16, 2018, 08:26 IST

              KOCHI: Though the concept of terrace or vegetable gardens had caught on like wildfire among city residents over the past few years, it has now started to earn them profits.

              They have begun to find regular buyers not just among neighbours but local vendors too.

              Residents in flats have started sharing their produce regularly forming WhatApp groups and displaying pictures to attract buyers.

              “We have started the garden on the suggestion of a resident in our building. I and my friend Jaishree Jaikrishan have been doing it for the past five years,” said Beena Ravindran, who cultivates and sells organic vegetables from the 20th floor of her apartment building.

              The partners grow vegetables such as ladies finger, green chili, brinjal, drumstick and seasonally tomatoes. They sell the same on a WhatsApp group of the residents of the building. “We charge slightly higher prices than the market as all the vegetables we grow are 100 percent organic. All the revenue from selling goes into maintaining the garden,” she said.

              “We cultivate vegetables completely by ourselves, other than cleaning and mixing the soil for which we hire help,” she added. She also said that gardening was easier on the 20th floor, where they utilize the common space for the garden, as there is less pest problems and plants receive direct sunlight.

              “We use items like curd, lime and garlic to ensure that its completely organic. This makes the process expensive and we cannot do it on a largescale, but it does benefit the people living here.”

              Prince S from Thuthiyoor, a biotechnician, has been supplying organic vegetables to a nearby market for some years and is utilizing his terrace for cultivation more than the ground to avoid the loss caused by snails.

              “Spinach is grown throughout the year in my 400 sq ft terrace on a lowbudget. Plantains are also grown but now I’m focusing more on the cultivation of mushrooms with the help of ‘Atma’ unit of ‘Krishibhavan’, which has funded Rs 20,000 for terrace farming,” he said.

              For Smitha Madhu from Kakkanad, an engineer, gardening of organic fruits and vegetables is a passion driven by the thought of providing safe vegetables to her children.

              “Vegetables such as ladies finger, bitter gourd, spinach, chilli and peas are grown along with fruits such as guava, pomegranate, mulberry, hog plum (ambazham), Israelian orange and passion fruit,” said Smitha.

              Ambika Mohandas, an artist from Padamugal, started terrace gardening in 2006 and has used innovative ways to produce organic food. She reuses disposed material such as rubber tyres, tanks, compost pits, sacks and old plastic buckets for her gardening. She was selected the best female farmer in Thrikkakaramunicipality in 2014.

              “I use only organic manure for plants such as lime, cow dung, trichoderma and groundnut fodder as prevention is better than cure. Waterlogging was an issue faced in terrace gardening, but now since I have painted the terrace floor with a water-proof elastomeric coating, this problem has been solved,” said Ambika. Different types of vegetables, fruits and flowers are grown here. Every three months, she changes the varieties based on season.

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              • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                Green protocol: Kunnathunadu set to be plastic-free panchayat

                TNN | Jul 17, 2018, 07:43 IST

                KOCHI: As a first step towards embracing green protocol, spearheaded by Haritha Keralam Mission (HKM) and to put an end to the mounting garbage menace, officials with Kunnathunadu panchayat in Ernakulam, are on a mission to make it a plastic-free panchayat.

                The first phase is underway at ward 7 and ward 16 of the panchayat. According to civic body officials, it will take at least a year to accomplish the mission.

                "The sanitation committee members and four teams of Haritha Karma Sena comprising Kudumbashree members have been entrusted with the task of collecting plastic waste from 18 wards in the panchayat monthly. We have been getting around 10 tonnes of plastic monthly for the last three years. Our aim is to bring it down to zero waste. Through this programme we hope there will be a significant reduction in the coming months. We would also introduce feasible models of waste treatment, water, environment and energy conservation in the near future," said P Aboobacker, Kunnathunadu panchayat president.

                The authorities said that since the cooperation of the public is required in its mission to eliminate plastic they will be conducting awareness programmes to educate them about various ways to keep plastics at bay.

                "We would send Haritha Karma Sena team to each house in 18 wards to check the usage of plastic in each household. In the first three months, we would collect plastic waste for free. Later, based on the quantity of plastic we collect, we would charge a stipulated amount as fine. We introduced the concept of fine because most people who don't want to end up paying fine will eventually become careful to avoid the use of plastic and this would force them to embrace eco-friendly options," said Aboobacker.

                Panchayat officials said that from September 1, paper bags would be made mandatory and those using plastic bags will have to pay a good amount as fine.

                "We have already given strict instructions to all shops in Kunnathunadu panchayat to avoid using plastic bags. We have started supplying cotton bags to shopkeepers and residents in the panchayat limit and those coming to Kunnathunadu. To manufacture cotton bags, we have started manufacturing units and Kudumbashree workers are entrusted with the task of making these bags," said an official with Kunnathunadu panchayat.

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                • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                  Collector orders removal of sand washed ashore

                  TNN | Jul 20, 2018, 08:22 IST

                  District collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla also directed officials to complete installation of geo-bags filled ... Read More

                  KOCHI: To bring back life to normalcy at Chellanam, the district administration has issued instructions to authorities of Chellanam panchayat, major irrigation, geology and mining departments to remove sand that has been washed ashore, on a war footing.

                  Officials with the district administration has also asked accredited social health activists (ASHA), NSS volunteers and members of Anbodu Kochi, a Kochi-based NGO, to carry out cleaning and sanitization drive at the earliest at Chellanam.

                  District collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla also directed officials to complete installation of geo-bags filled with sand as a temporary solution to sea erosion along the coastal stretch and reconstruction of damaged seawalls.

                  The collector has asked Fort Kochi RDO Shajahan Shamsudeen to formulate an effective plan to carry out the cleaning drive at Chellanam. The decisions were taken at a meeting convened by the collector at his camp house on Thursday.

                  Chellanam panchayat officials said that sand that washed ashore got accumulated in drains and canals at Chellanam, which resulted in flooding.

                  While panchayat officials raised some technical issues in connection with auctioning of the accumulated sand, the collector asked a committee comprising major irrigation department executive engineer, district tahsildar and officials with geology and mining to look into the issue.

                  The collector said that the local body should remove accumulated sand as directed by the committee.

                  Panchayat authorities should take steps to remove the sand. The irrigation department will check and record the quantity of accumulated sand and the geology and mining department will fix the price for the sand to be removed.

                  “It is the responsibility of the panchayat to make sure that the sand is being removed and ensure natural flow of water in canals,” said an official with the district administration.

                  Meanwhile, Kochi tahsildar K V Ambrose said that water level at the south-end of Chellanam has come down and people have started going back to their houses from flood relief camps.

                  “The cleaning drive is already underway. As many as 70 NSS volunteers from Aquinas College, Edakochi, and Asha workers have started the drive,” said Ambrose.

                  “We are sure that authorities will carry out the cleaning work. But when it comes to construction of seawalls and groynes (pulimuttu), we are a little bit doubtful. Our village had suffered the most when Ockhi hit the coast in December last year. Since then, authorities had been offering us a comprehensive package, including construction of a seawall, breakwaters and geotextile tubes, to prevent sea erosion. But nothing had materialized until June. Later, the district administration decided to install geobags to prevent the intensity of sea erosion. It also proved to be ineffective,” said Jinson T, a Chellanam resident.

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                  • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                    Corporation asks contractor to repair bad road in a week

                    M K Sunil Kumar | TNN | Jul 20, 2018, 08:27 IST

                    THE DAMAGED SRM ROAD

                    KOCHI: In an exemplary act, Kochi corporation authorities have send notice to a contractor for repairing the damaged SRM Road, the relaying of which was completed just six months ago, within seven days. Potholes surfaced all over the road despite the contractor giving a performance guarantee of one year.

                    It was in January 2018 that the contractor completed the works. As the road became nonmotorable, a resident took its photographs and posted it on Facebook. “I shared the photographs with corporation officials and instructed them to act on it considering it as a complaint. The executive engineer has given notice to the contractor asking him to repair the road within a week,” said P M Harris, chairman, works standing committee, Kochi corporation. Officials with Kochi corporation, however, said that the repair works can be started only after the rain subsides.

                    Roads usually get damaged before the completion of the guarantee period. But, road-owning agencies rarely ask contractors to repair them as per performance guarantee. If bituminised mecadam and bituminised concreting method is uded for the construction of roads, the period of performance guarantee would be three years from the date completion of the work. In the case of roads constructed using chipping carpet method, the guarantee period is one year. If the road is damaged due to poor quality of work, the contractor has an obligation to rectify it at his own cost.

                    In the wake of several roads being damaged before the guarantee period, Kochi corporation is planning to bring them under scanner.

                    “SRM Road was repaired using plan fund. Failure to keep the standard is a grave offense on the part of the contractor. So, we will monitor all works and if any road is found to be damaged, we will get the contractor repair it immediately,” Harris said.

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                      How ‘smart’ is a city that wades in water?

                      Shenoy Karun | TNN | Jul 20, 2018, 07:52 IST

                      Map of proposed land
                      KOCHI: When the Union government’s Smart City Mission conducted its first round of selection, Kochi was ranked 5th among the 20 major cities across the country. However, the recent rains proved that Kochi won’t be able to claim that it has an advanced ‘overall infrastructure’ – a cardinal factor that make these cities ‘really’ smart and sets them apart from others.

                      “This is a city that is growing without any fundamentals – waterlogging is just one issue to be tackled,” said K J Sohan, former mayor, Kochi corporation. Smart City project wouldn’t change the face of the town completely, as it is restricted to two areas of the town, he said. “These are two tiny parts of the town – first being the 1 to 5 divisions of Fort Kochi and second being the area between Banerji Road, MG Road and Durbar Hall Road,” he said.

                      Sohan fears that Smart City project might not be successful, if they keep on implementing certain elements of development, rather than seeing the whole picture. “West Kochi is an area that faces acute shortage of drinking water, but the Smart City project is implementing ‘smart’ metering there, which allows the officials to measure the consumption levels sitting in their offices,” he said.

                      Kochi is also going to see a huge pressure on its infrastructure as evident from the ‘Development Plan for Kochi City Region – 2031’, prepared by the department of town and country planning.

                      “We forget the fact that Kochi is an estuarine city. During high tides, the sea level will be three feet up and if there is rain, it will result in waterlogging across town. You will have to wait five hours for the low tide for this to subside. During this interval, the water used to be contained by natural water systems, till few years ago. Residential areas like Panampilly Nagar, Giri Nagar, Jawahar Nagar, Gandhi Nagar and Shastri Nagar, were all developed from paddy fields, a natural water harvesting system,” he said.

                      Further, the various governmental developmental projects of Kochi region, which started mainly in 1970s, also put pressure on the natural water systems, Sohan said.

                      “Marine Drive was built by reclaiming 200 acres, Goshree created 64 acres and Bolghatty Island took another 33 acres. For Vallarpadam, 700 acres were reclaimed and for Willingdon Island, 400 acres,” he said.

                      Sohan said that to construct efficient drainage systems, the town needs a contour map, a topographic map that shows the elevations at various points of the Earth’s surface.

                      “We also need to develop a geographical information system which could provide route map and contour map of all the places within the town,” he said.

                      Two other aspects that Kochi needs badly are water harvesting systems and service roads on canal banks.

                      “Currently 75% of the rain water drains to ground, resulting in waterlogging. If individual households could set up water harvesting systems, this could partly be contained. Service roads on the banks of the canals could be used for cleaning them during summers, he said.

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