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Kochi Realty Market News

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  • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

    DCPU to help children overcome flood trauma

    M.P. Praveen
    KOCHI, SEPTEMBER 08, 2018 00:00 IST
    UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 08, 2018 04:03 IST

    Those aged between four and 10 to be assisted through necessary interventions

    The flood has literally robbed six-year-old Soumya (name changed) of her sleep.

    Haunted by the nightmarish memories of water gushing into her home at Thuruth in Desham near Aluva, she often wakes up screaming, “Water is coming”.

    Soumya had been to three relief camps, which all got submerged in due course, before she moved into a relative’s home. Now back home, the child simply cannot sleep in peace.

    “Her family was rescued quite late after their home was flooded. She had witnessed the destruction caused by water, which has scarred her psychologically,” K.B. Zaina, District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) officer, toldThe Hindu .

    Soumya was among the 41 such flood-affected children plagued by fear and anxiety identified during the course of a drive conducted by the DCPU in association with Bengaluru-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) to offer social and psychological assistance to disaster-hit families in the district.

    The drive was conducted by 180 volunteers and coordinated by the field workers of Kaaval project, which is aimed at the reintegration of children in conflict with law into society. The volunteers trained by NIMHANS visited 1,507 houses and camps during the 12-day drive held between August 25 and September 5, reaching assistance to 6,638 people spread over municipalities and panchayats in the worst-affected taluks of Aluva, Kothamangalam, Kunnathunadu, North Paravur, and Muvattupuzha.

    Out of them, 836 were given psycho-social therapy and 420 detailed counselling. In addition to the 41 affected children, the drive found 124 people affected by insomnia, 26 with signs of depression, 94 grief-stricken, 11 with substance use withdrawal symptoms, and four with suicidal tendencies. “Children aged between four and 10 years were the most affected, and our focus will be to ensure their well-being through further interventions whenever necessary,” said Ms. Zaina.

    Special sessions

    The DCPU will organise an experience-sharing session of volunteers who participated in the campaign at Sacred Hearts College, Thevara, on Saturday to decide on follow-up measures.

    Doctors from the mental health wing of the General Hospital will also attend the session, and cases that need further intervention will be referred to them.

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    • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

      Flooded houses turn unsafe for residents of Mallussery

      Disney Tom

      The low-lying area of Mallussery near Nedumbasserry, where 50-odd families reside had been facing deluge every monsoon for the past 15 years. With their walls and foundations soaked in the floods for weeks, the villagers now fear to sleep under the ceiling of their own houses.

      | TNN | Sep 8, 2018, 08:43 IST

      Thankamma Krishnan says her flooded house continues to be dirty, no matter how many times it is cleaned.

      KOCHI: The low-lying area of Mallussery near Nedumbasserry, where 50-odd families reside had been facing deluge every monsoon for the past 15 years. With their walls and foundations soaked in the floods for weeks, the villagers now fear to sleep under the ceiling of their own houses.

      Over 30 days after they moved out of their homes due to the floods, the community hall at the village is still a relief camp as the residents doubt the stability of their houses.

      "If you lean against the walls your clothes get wet. The walls and the foundation remained in water for so long that we fear it would come down any time," said Nibin Kunjappan, a resident.

      Floods are common here and they test the strength of foundations every year. "This time however, water went up to ceilings and it took at least a couple of weeks to recede. Now, we are scared to sleep in our own houses," he said.

      Residents in the village, a few kilometres away from Nedumbassery, have been moving from one relief camp to another for over a month now.

      "On August 8, water level started to rise here and we moved to a camp in Vattaparambu. On the 15th, we were shifted to a school in Elavoor. On August 31, we came to the local community hall here," said Wilson P K, a resident of relief camp.

      For Thankamma Krishnan, the situation is worse. "My son is suffering from hypertension and he barely earns anything. I am a widow surviving on dependent pension. We can't sleep in our home and I spend nights at the community hall. I don't know how long this will go on," she said.

      She says her flooded house continues to be dirty, no matter how many times it is cleaned. "It is always wet. At the camp we prepare food and spend the nights. The rest of the time we spend cleaning houses," she said.

      Nibin said most of the houses were built in 2013.

      "Many houses were built by the panchayat. Floors of these houses are low, leaving it prone to damage during floods. Recently-built houses had floors at least a couple of feet above the ground level and those houses are now liveable. We need help, we can't go through this every year," says Nibin.

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      • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

        Experts bat for small electric buses to decongest Kochi roads

        Greeshma Gopal Giri

        Say Such Vehicles Will Help Improve Last-Mile Connectivity
        | TNN | Sep 11, 2018, 07:33 IST

        Say such vehicles will help improve last-mile connectivity.

        KOCHI: At a time when the state government is actively considering the option of introducing electric buses, urban transport experts point out the need to introduce small electric buses in cities like Kochi.

        According to experts, small buses will help to improve last-mile connectivity and facilitate in operating on the routes, where the public transport system is not available.

        "Small buses have to be encouraged in a city where roads are narrow and the last-mile connectivity is poor," said O P Agarwal, CEO of World Resource Institute (WRI) India.

        "There are no legal restrictions on introducing small buses. Transport department has to give permits," he said.

        According to him, the cost of operating smaller buses will be cheaper and people will find it more convenient to use these services. Moreover, it will help improve frequency of bus services.

        On a question regarding the issues related to operation of electric buses in highland or high ranges in Kerala, Agarwal said that there were such buses operating in Himachal Pradesh. "These can take certain degree of inclines. If it's a steep incline, I am not sure," said Agarwal.

        In case of long-distance journey, it takes time to charge batteries of electric buses. Meanwhile, filling of diesel can be done in a few minutes. While diesel buses can travel long distance without frequent refuelling, electric buses will be able to run only 120 to 140 km in a single charge.

        "Charging stations are an issue. We have power, but we would have to provide charging stations at frequent intervals. You need more charging stations than petrol/diesel bunks," said Agarwal.

        He also said that a lot of research has been carried out across the world on improving the efficiency of electric vehicles.

        Transport secretary K R Jyothylal said that a draft policy on electric vehicles has been sent for cabinet approval. "It is expected that the approval would come within a week. We have plans to introduce electric buses, autorickshaws and other vehicles," he said. The Centre is also pitching for investments in manufacture of electric vehicles and smart charging facilities.

        Speaking at the Global Mobility Summit, MOVE, organized by Niti Aayog, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that they would soon introduce a stable policy-regime around electric and other alternative fuel vehicles.

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        • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

          Clamour for mobile road repair units for city gets louder

          John L. Paul
          KOCHI , SEPTEMBER 12, 2018 00:05 IST
          UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 12, 2018 00:05 IST

          Officials of PWD admit that most arterial roads, including Banerjee Road in the city, are in very bad condition. PWD roads record more damage

          With the Public Works Department (PWD) and civic agencies unable to repair potholed roads in a timely manner, the clamour to purchase mobile patchwork repair units that are common in many Indian cities is getting louder.

          Such a machine, if deployed effectively, can repair potholes as and when they develop, preventing potholes from becoming cesspools. Potholes often becomes death traps for motorists and pedestrians since government agencies take months to repair them, said M.T. Varghese, general secretary of Ernakulam District Residents Associations’ Apex Council (EDRAAC).

          “The association has been demanding deployment of a couple of such mobile units during the past many years. Little has taken place though it was taken up with Ministers in charge of Public Works portfolio during UDF and LDF regimes. The PWD must take the lead in this matter to ensure that both highways and arterial roads in cities and towns are in good condition,” he said.

          The chairman of Works Standing Committee of Kochi Corporation, P.M. Harris, said that most of the 890-km-long roads (in Ernakulam and West Kochi) maintained by the civic agency are free of potholes. “Members of the public often blame us for tardy condition of roads that are maintained by PWD.”

          Officials of PWD admitted that most arterial roads, including Banerjee Road, Civil Line Road that leads to the Collectorate and roads in Thripunithura are in very bad condition.

          Though the PWD is better placed to procure a mobile repair unit, one such machine that it deployed in Thiruvananthapuram fell into disuse due to slack upkeep. Still, the Corporation had included procurement of a mobile unit costing approximately ₹40 lakh in its budget. “This could have been realised but for ground-level problems that we face in maintaining our fleet of compactor trucks used for garbage collection. Their repair works often get entangled in procedural delays. A road-brushing machine that the civic agency procured a few years ago is gathering dust due to slack upkeep,” Mr Harris said.

          Aimed at tending to repairs in a time-bound manner, he sought earmarking of a dedicated maintenance fund.

          “We can ensure roads that come with a five-year warranty if BMBC ( bituminous macadam and bituminous concrete) technology is relied on for busy corridors. Simultaneously, a master plan must be readied to construct a dedicated duct alongside roads. This will prevent the need to dig up roads to lay cables and pipelines. Oftentime, newly-laid roads are dug up and their relaying suffers inordinate delay,” Mr. Harris added.

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          • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

            Centre to help fund metro extension

            KOCHI, SEPTEMBER 16, 2018 00:00 IST
            UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 16, 2018 03:57 IST

            Total estimated cost of Thripunithura extension is Rs. 1,330 cr

            The Central government has agreed to consider providing equity (around 15%) to complete Kochi metro’s extension from Pettah up to S.N. Junction, Thripunithura.

            This was decided at the 31st director board meeting of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) held on Friday in New Delhi. The total estimated cost of the extension is Rs. 1,330 crore. The State government nod was awaited to extend the metro to Thripunithura railway station, said KMRL Managing Director A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish.

            The project report for the extension will be submitted to the Centre for its assistance and approval. The board also authorised KMRL’s MD to avail foreign funding to extend the metro rail to Thripunithura and Angamaly.

            Mr. Hanish said the stretch from Maharaja’s College to Thykoodam on Vyttila-Pettah Road was expected to be completed by June 2019, while the corridor up to Pettah could be completed by December 2019. Shifting of utilities on the stretch will be over in a week, following which the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) could begin piling.

            Second phase

            KMRL chairman and Urban Development Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra has said that the project report and proposal for the second stage of Kochi metro from the International Stadium to Infopark in Kakkanad, which was submitted in July for approval, was assessed by different departments and the ministry was expected to sanction it shortly.

            The board meeting was also attended by the Chief Secretary Tom Jose and Principal Secretary (Finance) Manoj Joshi.

            Metro township

            Meanwhile, 17.46 acres of land near the NGO quarters at Kakkanad, which was granted to KMRL in 2013, was handed over by the District Collector to the metro agency on Friday. An integrated metro township having housing and commercial facilities to provide alternate revenue for the metro’s operation and upkeep is expected to come up there.

            Water metro ferries

            Mr. Hanish said that it had been decided to go in for ferries with aluminium hull and fibre body for the Rs. 747-crore Water Metro project. The process for RFQ (request for qualification), which is the first qualifying step for procuring ferries for the project, was completed and tenders opened a few days ago.

            A total of eight companies consisting of three Chinese, one Dutch, one UAE and three Indian firms (L&T, Goa Shipyard and Cochin Shipyard) have expressed their interest in the project by submitting RFQ. The qualified companies will be provided with the final tender procedures and will be asked to submit the financial and technical bids.

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            • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

              Rebuilding Sabarimala: Rs 25 cr for initial work, says Travancore Devaswom Board

              Mahir Haneef
              Estimate received for rebuilding flood-ravaged Sabarimala is at Rs 25.46 crore, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has informed the Kerala high court.

              | TNN | Sep 17, 2018, 22:57 IST

              Representative image

              KOCHI: Estimate received for rebuilding flood-ravaged Sabarimala is at Rs 25.46 crore, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has informed the Kerala high court.

              TDB’s submission was in the form of an affidavit filed through its standing counsel S Rajmohan. The state government engaged Tata Projects Ltd to complete the rebuilding work on an urgent basis and a team of engineers are now preparing an action plan with respect to work at Nilakkal and Pampa following an inspection, the court was informed.

              The estimate of Rs 25.46 crore submitted by Tata Projects for rebuilding works has been placed before the devaswom board for consideration, the affidavit filed by TDB secretary said.

              State government contributes certain amount to Sabarimala Master Plan Infrastructure Development Fund, TDB said. From 2011-12 to 2017-18, government contributed Rs 102.5 crore. For 2018-19, a budget provision for Rs 28 crore was made but the amount has not been received so far. A total of Rs 2.26 crore was received as donation to the fund whereas Rs 113.72 crore was spent from 2011-12 to 2018-19, with balance of Rs 20,110 remaining in bank, TDB’s affidavit said.

              Describing the damages caused by the floods, TDB submitted that Pampa was badly affected. Most of the buildings constructed by the board for giving facilities to pilgrims were washed off in the heavy water flow from Pampa and Kakki dams. The bridges were submerged in sand and silt. The roads leading to Pampa are in dangerous condition due to landslide. A heavy landslide on the way to the hilltop caused damage to the weigh bridge. Barricades and ‘Nadappandal’ were washed off and the course of Pampa river has diverted. Besides, the board, infrastructure provided by KSEB, Irrigation Department, Kerala Water Authority, and BSNL have suffered heavy damage, according to TDB’s affidavit.


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              • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                Corporation’s projects in limbo due to lack of leadership

                M K Sunil Kumar | TNN | Sep 18, 2018, 07:58 IST

                Tug-of-war between Congress factions over changing the mayor has led to a crisis in the administration of Kochi corporation

                KOCHI: Tug-of-war between Congress factions over changing the mayor has led to a crisis in the administration of Kochi corporation.

                Mayor Soumini Jain, who doesn't even know what Kochi’s ranking is in the Ease of Living study conducted by Union urban affairs ministry across 115 cities in the country, pays least attention to the administrative issues.

                Many projects, including construction of waste-to-energy plant, egovernance, Ro-Ro, hiring of trucks for transporting garbage, implementation of city gas project and construction of new office for the corporation are pending inordinately. The Ease of Living study rates Kochi 45th among the cities and they point out that Kochi fares badly in many areas like health, waste disposal, housing, etc.

                “I haven’t gone through the Ease of Living study report so far,” Jain told TOI, when asked about the projects, which the corporation plans to implement for improve living standards in Kochi based on the report.

                According to opposition leadership, the mayor and the deputy mayor rarely get time to focus on administrative issues. “While mayor is engaged in protecting her chair, deputy mayor T J Vinod, who holds district congress committee president, hardly gets time to attend even the corporation council meetings, let alone the administrative issues,” said K J Antony, opposition leader, Kochi corporation. “Even six months after launching of RoRo services, a project for which Rs 15 crore from plan fund was used, are still in troubled water. They can ply only one of the two vessels. The second vessel is at the dock at Cochin Shipyard. Due to anomalies in the construction of jetty, Ro-Ro vessels have got damaged,” Antony said.

                Waste management, an area where the city’s rating Swachh Survekshan as well as Ease of Living Study is poor, continues to be poor. Waste-to-energy plant, a Rs 295-crore project, remains non-starter due to the apathy on the part of the local body authorities. E-governance project, which was started more than a decade ago remains incomplete. Issuance of building permit, birth and death certificates and other services are hit due to the flaws in executing the e-governance project. “We would soon conduct a presentation on waste -to -energy project at the corporation’s council hall. This would help the councillors have a better understanding on the progress of the project,” Jain said at the council meeting held last week.

                Vinod denied the allegations that the administration of Kochi corporation has been affected due to the rift in the Congress party. “There isn’t any move to change mayor. The allegations that there is a standstill in the administration are baseless. There would soon be some changes to improve the administration. Everything would be alright soon,” Vinod said.


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                • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                  Planting bamboos can curb flood damage

                  Sudha Nambudiri | TNN | Sep 18, 2018, 07:41 IST

                  Saudhamini drying her son's PSC exam guides in front of her house at Ezhikkadu colony near Chegannur

                  KOCHI: Against the backdrop of recent natural calamities, scientists and soil experts are mooting bamboo cultivation to check landslides, mud slips and soil piping. These events, reported in many places across the state, had caused deaths apart from destruction to land and property.

                  According to an initial post-flood survey done by Kerala Forest Research Institute, bamboo clumps planted on banks of Bharatapuzha survived even in spots where the floodwaters flowed as high as three to four metre above the ground level. Bamboo plantations can act as a natural buffer that conserves the soil when such disasters strike. “In North-east India and in the Himalayan foothills of Sivalik range of mountains, bamboos have played a major stabilizing role. We have seen its results in Chalakudy-Sholayar belt,” said Syam Vishwanath, director, KFRI-Peechi.

                  Bamboos can be easily grown in riverine habitats and is a cost-effective method to check erosion as they can withstand damage due to floods. It is effective for brackish waters and can check coastal inundation.

                  The flooding of river in Palakkad resulted in property loss and human casualty. “Bambusa bambos is a thorny bamboo species native to South-East Asia and is very sturdy and used as structural support in house construction, furniture making etc. It is suitable for planting in erosion-prone areas, especially along the river banks, owing to its extensive fibrous root system,” said A V Raghu, scientist-extension department, KFRI.

                  Large-scale planting of Bambusa bamboos was carried out along the banks of Bharathapuzha and its tributaries from 2007 - 2011 as a part of ‘Green the gap programme’ organized by the local-self government department (LSGD) in coordination with agriculture department, KFRI and various NGOs in Palakkad.

                  “Majority of these plants failed to survive due to lack of proper monitoring and management leaving only less than 20% which were originally planted. These survived the floods,” Raghu said.

                  KFRI director said that proper bamboo management that includes regular trimming of shoots is needed to ensure that they remain sturdy at the root-level.

                  “In Thrissur, we found that places which had bamboo didn’t experience events like soil piping. Those that had soil piping were in areas that had trees like Acacia,” said M A Sudheer Babu, soil conservation officer, Thrissur.


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                  • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                    KERALA Roads to turn ‘smart’ for seamless mobility

                    SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
                    KOCHI, SEPTEMBER 25, 2018 00:00 IST
                    UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 25, 2018 03:02 IST

                    Rs. 216-cr project to be implemented in city under Smart Cities Mission

                    A Rs. 216-crore project will be implemented in two years under the roads-improvement project of the Smart Cities Mission, by upgrading 8.15 km of major roads to Smart Roads and 43.4 km of minor roads to high-quality roads in Ernakulam Central and West Kochi areas.

                    This was decided at a stakeholder meeting held here on Monday to review the projects proposed under the mission. The Smart Roads project includes upgradation and augmentation of footpaths, providing cycle lanes, road markings, street furniture, bus bays, street landscaping and lighting, and shifting of utilities. Other key roads will be upgraded with drainage facilities, provision of footpath, and surface improvement.

                    Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) managing director A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish explained the project and made a presentation on the progress of work at the meeting. Issues pertaining to proper drainage and sewerage system, housing, and parking too were discussed.

                    One of the primary themes of the Smart City proposal for Kochi is “seamless mobility”. Major projects proposed under the theme are integration of various commuting modes like road, rail and water transport systems, development of smart roads, promotion of non-motorised transport systems, public bicycle sharing, and integrated traffic management system.

                    Solar power

                    Meanwhile, CSML inked an agreement with Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) for installing roof-top solar systems for government buildings. The agreement was signed by Mr. Hanish and BHEL general manager P. Ravi Shankar. The estimated project cost is Rs. 5.7 crore.

                    Assured power supply with at least 10% of the Smart City’s energy requirement coming from solar power is an essential feature of the mission. The CSML board agreed to appoint BHEL as the implementation partner of the project which will be implemented within six months. There will be an annual maintenance contract for five years.

                    Those who attended the meeting included K.V. Thomas, MP; Hibi Eden and K.J. Maxi, MLAs; Mayor Soumini Jain, Deputy Mayor T.J. Vinod, Corporation Secretary Anuja A.S., chairpersons of standing committees, councillors, and representatives from line departments.

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                    • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                      Database soon on waste management

                      G. Krishnakumar

                      The facility will help in scientificdisposal ofnon-biodegradable and e-waste

                      Ernakulam will soon have an online database for effective waste management.

                      The pilot project will involve select panchayats in the district. The National Informatics Centre will develop the online database that will help in the scientific collection, transportation and disposal of non-biodegradable and electronic waste, according to officials associated with the initiative.

                      The project envisages the creation of a database that will provide regular updates on waste generated in each local body in the district. Panchayats and municipalities will provide data to the government’s Suchitwa Mission, which will upload it to the official website.

                      A senior official of the mission said that the primary objective was to streamline the collection and transportation of non-biodegradable and e-waste in the district. Government agencies involved in the process can use the database for timely collection of waste generated from households in each local body, he added.

                      The database will be updated on a monthly basis. Incidentally, local bodies have been providing data on the quantity of non-biodegradable waste and e-waste generated every month.

                      The Suchitwa Mission will identify agencies/vendors for collecting plastic and e-waste from local bodies on a periodic basis. They will also be responsible for transporting waste to facilities involved in the recycling process. But the collection process will be activated only after ensuring that the local bodies have collected and segregated a minimum quantity of waste that could be taken for recycling or scientific disposal, officials said.

                      Residents’ support

                      The co-operation of residents associations will be sought for the successful implementation of the waste collection drive.

                      The district administration has plans to provide a toll-free number, which the associations could use to contact those involved in the collection of non-biodegradable and e-waste. A decentralised approach will be enabled in the collection process.

                      The web portal will also have data on non-biodegradable and e-waste collected by students and taken to schools as part of the Freedom from Waste Campaign.

                      Educational institutions in seven taluks short-listed to carry out the first phase of the campaign involving students in the district include Government HSS, Puthenthode (Kochi taluk); Government Girls HSS, Ernakulam (Kanayanoor); Government Girls HSS, Paravur (North Paravur); Government Girls HSS, Aluva (Aluva); Government Girls HSS, Perumbavoor (Kunnathunadu); Government VHSS, Mathirappalli (Kothamangalam); and St. Augustine HSS, Muvattupuzha (Muvattupuzha).


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