Kochi: Only days after receiving the nod for the Metro Rail project, Kochi is now pushing for the status of a metro city. The plan is to have under its ambit towns such as Vaikom, Thodupuzha, Cherthala, Kodungalloor and Chalakkudy from other districts.
Taking a cue from a proposal submitted by the Greater Cochin Development Authority, the state government is planning to take up with the Centre the elevation of Kochi as a Metro. To this end, the report proposes the formation of a Metropolitan Development Authority. A meeting has been convened in Thiruvananthapuram later this month to discuss the report titled ‘Proposal for the Kochi Metropolitan City’.
“A lot of things have to fall in place. If any city in Kerala deserves the Metro status, it is Kochi”, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told Express. It may be recalled that soon after taking office, Chandy had said that his government would consider the formation of a Metropolitan Council for Kochi.
“We will invite representatives from the GCDA, ministers and MLAs of the proposed area and other officials concerned for the meeting later this month. The date of the meeting will be confirmed later,” Urban Development and Town Planning Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali said.
“This has been pending for a while. This is the right time for the state to push the proposal as the infrastructure parameters in Kochi meet the requirements,” said Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K V Thomas.
“It was based on the Chief Minister’s declaration and instruction that the GCDA has prepared the report. Along with Metro status, the report moots the formation of a Metropolitan Development Authority which will cover a wider agglomeration area that includes towns from neighbouring districts such as Thrissur, Alappuzha, Kottayam and Idukki,” said GCDA chairman N Venugopal.
He said the Metro proposal was made after considering the big leap by the city in seven key sectors. “With the sanctioning of Metro Rail and other infrastructure projects, Kochi now tops other cities in the state on infrastructure, real estate and transportation,” Venugopal said.