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Kochi Realty Market News

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  • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

    No clean chit to corp on handling waste: NGT panel

    TNN | Jan 26, 2019, 08:47 IST

    KOCHI: P Jyothimani, chairperson of regional monitoring committee (south) which reports to National Green Tribunal (NGT), has said that it has not given a clean chit to Kochi corporation with regard to handling waste at Brahmapuram.

    “We have not given a clean chit. Lot of things have to be done. An initiative has been made and it has to result in 100% door-to-door collection and 100% waste treatment. Source segregation in households is important,” said Jyothimani after the fifth meeting of regional monitoring committee (south) here on Friday.

    “During our visit to the plant on Thursday, we found that Kochi is one of the cleanest cities in India. They have taken a first step, but steps should be taken to ensure segregation of waste at source,” he said.

    To a question regarding allegation by residents that the corporation tried to mislead the committee by cleaning up the place ahead of the visit, Jyothimani said they see similar complaints in all locations they visit.

    “We would give an impartial report,” he said.

    The committee will prepare a consolidated report and present it to apex monitoring committee headed by Justice D K Jain with a copy to NGT, which would pass the orders based on it. Jyothimani, during the review, asked the representatives of the state government and Kochi corporation to take steps to address the concerns raised by local representatives. He also spoke about the need to create awareness that the plant operations would not affect health and lifestyle of those who reside nearby.

    The meeting was attended by secretaries of municipal administration and rural development of all southern states besides member secretaries and chairpersons of state pollution control boards and secretaries of municipalities.

    Kochi corporation secretary Anuja A S, state pollution control board chairman K Sajeevan and confederation of real estate developers association of India project manager Joby Jacob made presentations on solid waste management at the meet.

    Regional monitoring committee member secretary Harmander Singh also attended.

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    • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

      Waste segregation at source to be must

      Special Correspondent

      For a clean sweep:Eco-friendly products at the flea market held at St.Teresa’s College in the city on Monday.Thulasi Kakkat

      Mayor seeks support for refuse management

      Mayor Soumini Jain has said that the Kochi Corporation will strictly enforce segregation of waste at source. Waste would not be collected from homes unless it was segregated, she said. The Mayor was speaking after inaugurating ‘Eco-cetera’, an eco-friendly flea market organised at St. Teresa’s College (Autonomous) on Monday.

      The flea market is part of ‘Project Zero — Waste Free Living’, a public relations campaign being organised by final year students of the Department of Communicative English to create awareness about zero-waste lifestyle.

      The Mayor said while the Brahmapuram waste treatment plant in Kochi was still developing the capacity to deal with massive quantities of waste generated in the city, the public had to support waste management activities by segregating waste generated at home.

      Even when people segregate waste, they often put biodegradable waste in plastic bags before disposing it, she said. The Mayor lauded the students’ initiative. She visited stalls that displayed and sold items such as eco-friendly brooms, brushes, biodegradable sanitary pads, clay magnets and keychains. Students also raised funds through a food stall that promoted only ethical alternatives to plastic for food packaging.

      T.M. Venugopalan, former Senior Supervisor of Research and Development at Hindustan Paper Corporation; Dr. Tessy Anthony C., Associate Professor and Principal in-charge; and Saumya John, HoD, Department of Communicative English, were present.

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      • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

        Cochin development body’s housing project faces financial hurdle

        The test report of the soil at the work-site found that piling work depth would have to deepened to 50m instead of 15m to ensure a strong foundation.Anantha Narayanan K | TNN | February 08, 2019, 19:30 IST

        KOCHI: Greater Cochin Development Authority’s (GCDA) Mundamveli housing project, aimed at the rehabilitation of P&T Colony residents, is facing financial hurdles in the initial stage itself.

        The test report of the soil at the work-site found that piling work depth would have to deepened to 50m instead of 15m to ensure a strong foundation.

        According to officials, the cost of the foundation work itself may exceed Rs 50 lakh and it will be a challenge for GCDA to complete the project, which is already on a tight budget.

        The proposed housing complex of 88 apartment units in two blocks on 70 cents of GCDA land at Mundamveli is funded by the state government under Livelihood Inclusion and Financial Empowerment (LIFE) Mission scheme and earlier there were reports that the fund allotted would not be sufficient.

        “The allotted fund for the project is Rs 9.24 crore. Though GCDA had initially submitted a proposal of Rs 16 lakh per unit, including piling cost, LIFE Mission has allotted only Rs 10.5 lakh per unit. Though we made modifications in the building plan to stick to the budget, it is a challenge. Now, the increase in foundation cost will worsen the situation,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

        Normally, the cost for piling ranges between Rs 6,000 and Rs 7,000/m. The number of piles needed is yet to be calculated and it will have an impact on the foundation cost.

        “Unless further changes are made in the sketch plan of the building the foundation itself may cost around Rs 50 lakh,” said the official.

        Meanwhile, GCDA officials have held a discussion with FACT Engineering and Design Organization (FEDO) to use prefabricated homes to reduce the cost.

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        • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

          Waterfronts set for construction boom

          Sudha Nambudiri | TNN | Feb 10, 2019, 14:18 IST

          KOCHI: With the Centre releasing the gazette notification on Coastal regulation zone (CRZ)-2018, Kerala will see enhanced activities in the coastal regions where constructions of any kind had been banned for several years. The new amendment, which reduced the no development zone to 50m from the high tide line (HTL), has been welcomed by people across coastal areas as it enables them to construct houses without having to face technical hurdles.

          However, before any activity can be planned, the state will have to ready coastal zone management plans (CZMP) for all coastal districts and local bodies that come under the purview of the notification. There is a growing concern that this could trigger environmental damage in the coastal region.

          Experts caution that any plan should be done keeping in mind the vulnerability to floods and inundation. “We have a lot of strict rules, but we are very poor in implementing them and this is what we will have to look into,” said senior scientist at National Centre for Earth Sciences KK Ramachandran, who was a former member secretary, Kerala coastal zone management authority (KCZMA). He said that tourism and eco-tourism activity will have to be monitored. “But, how can it be done as KCZMA is poorly equipped without enough staff. Most members are nominated,” he said.

          The state has just developed coastal management plans for several local bodies only recently. “Now, all of it has to be revised. Plans have to be made on a war footing as the notification clearly says that there is no implementation of the new rules without the plan,” said advocate S Sahasranaman, a legal expert on CRZ.

          He said that after the plan has been prepared, there has to be a public hearing and it can be finalized as a public document only after that. It would take more than a year because CZMP has to be scientifically made. Ramachandran said that it would be better to identify areas which could be used for tourism activity.

          Another important aspect is that the Vembanad Lake area comes under the critical vulnerable coastal areas.

          “Already over 3,000 acres have been encroached upon in the past seven years, which has impacted the waterbody, marine life and also the wetland area,” said senior fellow at Bengaluru-based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment Priyadarsanan Dharmarajan.

          One of the areas that has not been addressed is the private mangroves. Around 50% of the mangroves in the state comes under private property.

          In a mangrove spread of more than 1,000 sq m, we have to have a 50m buffer which is essential to protect it from any other human interference.

          0“But the private mangroves don’t seem to attract the buffer clause and we in Kerala are also unaware of the total area of private mangroves here,” Ramachandran said.

          Highlights of the new notification

          I) Densely-populated rural areas to be afforded greater opportunity for development. For CRZ-III (rural) areas, two separate categories have now been stipulated

          a) CRZ-III A - Densely-populated rural areas with a population density of 2,161/sq km as per 2011 Census. There will be No Development Zone (NDZ) of 50m from the high tide line (HTL) as against 200m from the HTL stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011 since such areas have similar characteristics as urban areas

          b) CRZ-III B - Rural areas with population density of below 2,161/sq km as per 2011 Census. Such areas shall continue to have an NDZ of 200m from the HTL

          II) Tourism infra for basic amenities to be promoted

          Temporary tourism facilities such as shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities, etc. have now been permitted in beaches

          Such temporary tourism facilities are also permissible in the ‘No Development Zone’ (NDZ) of the CRZ-III areas. However, a minimum distance of 10m from HTL should be maintained

          III) Procedure for CRZ clearances streamlined

          Only such projects/activities, which are located in the CRZ-I (ecologically-sensitive areas) and CRZ IV (area covered between low tide line and 12 nautical miles seaward) shall be dealt with for CRZ clearance by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change.

          The powers for clearances with respect to CRZ-II and III have been delegated at the state level with necessary guidance

          IV) NDZ of 20m stipulated for all islands

          For islands close to the main land coast and for all backwater islands in the main land, NDZ of 20m has been stipulated

          V) All ecologically sensitive areas accorded special importance

          Specific guidelines related to their conservation and management plans have been drawn up

          VI) Pollution abatement accorded special focus

          VII) Defence and strategic projects accorded necessary dispensation

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          • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

            ochi metro rehabilitated tenants, paid owners

            The land and the buildings have been in the possession of the tenants for years, and the repeated attempts of the owners to get them out of these places have turned out to be futile.TNN | February 14, 2019, 17:30 IST

            KOCHI: When the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) announced its plans to extend the project from Pettah to Tripunithura, land and building owners were more than willing to part with their properties. Reason: Their inability to get the tenants evicted from their properties.

            The land and the buildings have been in the possession of the tenants for years, and the repeated attempts of the owners to get them out of these places have turned out to be futile.

            “The tenants pay a measly amount as rent for occupying these spaces in prime locations. Though the rentals in the city and suburbs have gone up, they do not pay an increased rent. They also do not vacate the property. It is unable for the owner to get a new tenant who is willing to pay a higher rent,” said S Radhakrishnan, a resident of Tripunithura.

            He said that when the Metro acquires land, the district administration provides compensation for the land owner and also rehabilitate the tenants. “It is the only chance for the owners to benefit from their properties,” he added.

            The revenue department, which carries out land acquisition for the project, had a tough time negotiating the deal. While acquiring land belonging to local bodies, former Ernakulam district collector MG Rajamanickam had said that though land owners were willing to provide their property to the Metro, the tenants raised objections. He said land was in the possession of tenants who had been occupying the spaces for years, and they demanded higher rehabilitation package.


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            • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

              Collecting rent an uphill task for building owners in Kochi

              With the tenants refusing to pay rent citing losses or inability to breakeven, the owners are left helpless, contemplating fighting tiresome legal battles.TNN | February 14, 2019, 18:30 IST

              KOCHI: Building owners in the city who have rented out their properties to business establishments are facing a tough time. With the tenants refusing to pay rent citing losses or inability to breakeven, the owners are left helpless, contemplating fighting tiresome legal battles.

              When VS Vipin of Palluruthy Veli rented out his shopping complex little did he expect that he would have to approach the police for evicting the tenant. “The tenant paid an advance of Rs 1.5 lakh and made an agreement to pay Rs 3,300 per month. Very soon, he started defaulting and an arrears of eight months piled up. He showed no intention to clear the arrears or vacate the premises and even objected to the attempts to recover arrears from the advance. At last, I was forced to approach the police. The tenant talked about his pathetic financial situation and insisted on retaining the building. Finally, he agreed to vacate when I told him my about my decision to give up the rent for eight months,” he said.

              In Kerala, it has been estimated that there are 18 lakh building owners. In Ernakulam district, there are around two lakh building owners, and in Thiruvananthapuram about 3.5 lakh.

              The Kerala rented building owners’ association said the government should implement laws, which give them protection and ensure absolute rights over their properties.

              The building owners and their tenants blame each other for such a state of affairs.

              The tenants say the building owners have been harassing them. “A rent control Act should be implemented across the state. In the absence of such a stringent rent-control system, the owners are in a position to harass tenants,” said Binny Emmatty, state treasurer, Kerala Vyapari Vyavsayi Samithi. However, he said building owners often have to fight legal battles for more than 20 years to get possession of their property from tenants.

              “The reluctance of tenants to agree to pay increased rents or vacate the premises lead to such situations,” he added.

              Meanwhile, Mohammed Ashraf of the Kerala Merchants Union said incidents of tenants retaining possession of buildings were more prevalent in the government sector. “The tenants occupying these spaces rarely agree to hike rent or move out. Here, the government is the land lord. The political influence of the tenant is a deciding factor when it comes to buildings owned by agencies like the Kochi Corporation or the Greater Cochin Development Authority,” he said.

              When it comes to private individuals and organisations, the tenants have been more careful. “Times are changing. The tenants are becoming aware of the rent control petition and that ownership will be restored with the rightful owner after fighting legal battles,” he added.


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              • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                Owners handed over land for Kochi metro extension

                As Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) goes ahead with its plan to extent the project towards Tripunithura, 14 landowners along the Pettah-SN Junction stretch handed over their land to the Metro agency on Friday. TNN | February 23, 2019, 19:00 IST
                File photo

                KOCHI: As Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) goes ahead with its plan to extent the project towards Tripunithura, 14 landowners along the Pettah-SN Junction stretch handed over their land to the Metro agency on Friday.

                Dr Alex of Tripunithura handed over 30 cents, while Aadampilly Kavu Kshethra Trust handed over 4.5 cents for the project. The proposed SN Junction Metro station will be constructed at Dr Alex’s property.

                KMRL managing director A P M Mohammed Hanish said that the land acquisition process along the phase-one extension from Pettah to SN Junction is in the final stage.

                Revenue authorities and KMRL officials had held discussions with landowners, residents’ associations and people’s representatives to facilitate land acquisition. Land acquisition is required for widening the existing road from Pettah to SN Junction to 22m.

                “We will have to take over small parcels of land in this region for road widening works,” said a Metro official.

                State government has already transferred Rs 109 crore to the account of Ernakulam district collector Mohammed Y Safirulla for carrying out land acquisition procedures. Safirulla and deputy collector Sinu Lal are monitoring the land acquisition procedures.

                Major civil works for the Metro include construction of viaduct, stations and Panamkutty bridge (also known as Pettah bridge).

                The contract consists of two-km-long viaduct, construction of additional two lanes for Panamkutty bridge and two stations namely, Vadakkekotta and SN Junction.

                Metro is expected to run from Pettah to SN Junction by 2021-end.

                KMRL has already completed discussions with oil companies regarding extension of the project. Earlier, KMRL had said that Pettah bridge would be rebuilt as part of implementing the project. Traffic along the busy stretch will have to be diverted to facilitate reconstruction of Pettah bridge.

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                • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                  Around 70% buildings in Kochi found to be violating fire and safety norms

                  ​​The audit was held after continuous reports of fire outbreaks from buildings across the state. Disney Tom&T C Sreemol | TNN | February 28, 2019, 13:00 IST

                  KOCHI: As per the statistics provided by the department of fire and rescue, 1,103 out of 1,582 buildings inspected by it across the state from February 19 till February 26 were found to be violating fire and safety guidelines of the national building code of India.

                  The audit was held after continuous reports of fire outbreaks from buildings across the state.

                  “We are not an enforcement agency but we have taken upon ourselves the task of conducting the study to improve safety. A report on buildings found to be in grave violation of the standards would be given to the concerned local body or the district administration,” said R Prasad, director (technical), fire and rescue department.

                  According to a fire department source, the inspections being conducted by all the fire units in the state will be completed by March 15.

                  “Fire and safety equipment were found to have been installed in most of the buildings, at the time of construction. However, they were left neglected over a period of time and ended up being unusable. We have noticed even security staffers never use these equipment,” said Prasad.

                  The inspections are being carried out by dividing the buildings into nine categories –– residential, educational, institutional, assembly, business, mercantile, industry, storage and hazardous.

                  As per the report, as many as 288 residential buildings, 50 educational buildings, 88 institutional buildings, 96 buildings for assembly, 58 buildings for business, 423 mercantile buildings, 64 industrial buildings, 25 buildings for storage and 11 buildings in the hazardous category fell short of the required safety standard.

                  The criteria used by the fire department include presence of fire extinguishing mechanisms and if in place its functionality, presence of proper exits from the building, construction or modifications made to buildings after getting fire safety approval that could affect the fire safety standards etc.

                  Officials said the department is also planning to form rescue teams in all buildings, comprising their occupants.


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                  • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                    KWA, PWD at loggerheads over pipe burst

                    TNN | Mar 4, 2019, 04:22 IST

                    Work in progress: A damaged pipeline being repaired at Thakazhy

                    Alappuzha: A tug-of-war between the Kerala water authority (KWA) and the PWD is proving dearly for the five lakh families in Alappuzha municipality and surrounding eight grama panchayats, who rely on the Alappuzha drinking water project.

                    KWA has on Wednesday stopped the water supply under the project after a pipeline burst at Thakazhy. The one-km stretch at Thakazhy has been witnessing frequent pipeline bursts, with the latest one being noticed in February first week.

                    Though KWA officials said the issue would be fixed soon and water supply be resumed by Wednesday, the PWD is against the practice of digging the road to fix the issue, which has become a commonplace.

                    “When we sought permission from the PWD for digging the road to fix the leakage, they demanded Rs 21 lakh. However, we did not receive the required amount from our department and we continued the water supply, and the pipeline fixing work was put on hold. We were forced to stop the water supply completely on Wednesday, after the leakage became serious. Later, PWD allowed us to dig the road after people’s protest became strong and we agreed to give them Rs 21 lakh soon,” said a PWD official.

                    Under the project, three crore litres of water come from Kadapra in Pathanamthitta daily via a treatment plant (the plant has a production capacity of six crore litres per day) at Karumadi near Ambalapuzha. However, frequent pipeline bursts on the one-km stretch at Thakazhy, which is in between the 19.5km from Kadapra to the water treatment plant at Karumadi, is the major cause of concern.

                    KWA officials said the one-km pipeline must be replaced to find a permanent solution to the issue, and the expected cost of the work is Rs 9 crore. “We have approached the PWD. However, they have not given the estimate and sanction for the work,” said a KWA official.

                    PWD (roads) executive engineer B Vinu said they would not give permission for digging the one-km stretch along the Ambalappuzha-Thiruvalla road as the road was reconstructed using modern technology. “We have reconstructed the road spending Rs 5 crore per km. If we allow them to dig the road, it will affect its structure. KWA should find another way for laying their pipes,” he said.

                    Saying that the frequent incidents of pipeline burst was due to the poor quality of pipes, PWD minister G Sudhakaran had come down heavily on KWA officials and contractors who executed the drinking water project. He said on Saturday that there was largescale corruption behind the project and that the corrupt officials and contractors must be brought to book.


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                    • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                      Private firms operating from Cochin Port Trust's leased-out land fail to pay property tax

                      This is because the corporation is yet to conduct assessment of the structures. As per a 20-year agreement signed between the local body and CPT in 1993, the corporation had granted 70% tax waivers to the buildings on CPT land for facilitating activities of the port.TNN | March 05, 2019, 15:00 IST

                      KOCHI: At a time when Kochi corporation is facing severe fund crunch, many of the private firms, including cement manufacturing companies, operating from the land leased out by Cochin Port Trust (CPT) are not paying building tax to the corporation.

                      This is because the corporation is yet to conduct assessment of the structures.

                      As per a 20-year agreement signed between the local body and CPT in 1993, the corporation had granted 70% tax waivers to the buildings on CPT land for facilitating activities of the port.

                      Later, when International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam started functioning, main activities of the Port have been shifted to ICTT over a period of 10 years and CPT started leasing out its buildings to private firms.

                      Councillors allege that the corporation authorities are turning a blind eye to the large-scale erosion of revenue on account of building tax by private firms such as cement factories operating from CPT-owned lands.

                      Now, the corporation is set to revise its agreement with CPT .

                      “As per the 1993 agreement, only 30% building tax was charged from firms operating from CPT land. Now, private firms and companies taking CPT-owned buildings on lease are mushrooming. A majority of such firms is unauthorized and is not paying building tax to us,” said corporation councillor C K Peter.

                      Deputy mayor T J Vinod also asked mayor Soumini Jain to sort out the issues related to tax revenue erosion.

                      “Now, most of the holdings by CPT have been leased out and private firms and factories are operating from there. So, tax exemption should not be given to private firms operating from CPT-owned buildings,” Vinod said.

                      “We have issued forms 2 and 6 (which are part of the assessment of built up area and building tax) to the owners of buildings there. Many of the building owners are not ready to return the forms after filling them up. The estate wing of CPT is not cooperating with us. So, the mayor should convene an urgent meeting with CPT chairman and managing director to sort out the issues,” he said.

                      Councillors said the corporation should not sign agreement with CPT for more than three years.

                      They also demanded that the building tax percentage should be increased to 70% from the 30% in the earlier agreement.

                      “Earlier, CPT had been carrying out waste movement and providing infrastructure facilities such as maintenance of roads there. Over the past few years, the corporation had also spent crores of rupees for providing infrastructure there. Moreover, garbage is moved by the corporation. CPT doesn’t pay the local body for it,” Peter said.

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