KOZHIKODE : “A vital city of the state with strong economic base and excellent quality of life, offering outstanding competency in residing, investing and holidaying”, reads the concept statement of the master plan (Development Plan for Kozhikode 2011-2031) being prepared for the city and its neighbouring areas.
To make the concept come true, the draft plan, being prepared under the guidance of Regional Town Planner K V Abdul Malik, facilitates measures for the overall growth of the city, keeping the future in mind. It notes that the availability of foreign investment, strong entrepreneurship background, the changing face of the industrial, commercial and residential sector and an established transit hub reinforced by transportation projects in the pipeline provide a great opportunity for inclusive growth.
The draft master plan identifies five places as catalysts to growth - the mobility hub and the surroundings in Malaparamba, Medical College, IT Park and contiguous areas, Ramanattukara, Beypore port area. Besides, it proposes three special development zones - Beypore port, high density residential development on the landward side of the beach and the warehousing and industrial area at Olavanna. It further calls for allowing investments of more than `100 crore on roads wider than 18 m, subject to conditions in the master plan area, making Kozhikode and the neighbouring areas an attractive industrial/commercial investment destination, creation of a strong, balanced economic base by revitalising and strengthening traditional economy with sufficient supporting infrastructure, etc.
Industrial and Commercial Development
Kozhikode, with road, rail, airways and port connectivity, is traditionally an industrial and commercial centre of North Kerala.
Though famous for wood furniture, textiles, tiles, soap, etc, a large number of indigenous industries is on the decline.
Other than utilising the opportunities being generated by IT parks in the public and private sector, the plan calls for the restoration of the prominence of Kozhikode as a prime trade centre of North Kerala by utilising the opportunities for wholesale trade provided by Beypore Port for import and export and the existing rail, road and airport facilities.
The major proposals include creation of a new growth centre at Malaparamba, declaring Feroke as ‘industry friendly panchayat,’ hazardous and storage industries at Olavanna, heavy industries at Cheruvannur Nallam belt and value addition industries and a mini industrial area in Ramanattukara along the Chaliyar.
It further suggests earmarking land for hierarchical development of commercial centres, including high-end commercial areas and speedy clearance for all industries under the green category as listed by the Pollution Control Board along with sanction for ‘no polluting’ industries attached to houses. On the commercial front, revitalisation or development of existing commercial areas, walkable commercial streets, parking plazas, shifting the vegetable market to Kalluthankadavu, expansion of Central Business District and development of new commercial nodes at important junctions have been proposed.
The master plan supports plastic ban, including plastic carry bags and non-recyclable plastic products. It further envisages implementing afforestation programmes and ensuring green cover in residential layouts, educational and other public areas, along with the conservation of all kavus and ponds in the master plan area with green buffers and Transfer of Development Rights (TDR). The plan also identifies and recommends steps to conserve heritage sites, mangroves, ponds and sacred groves. The heritage sites to be protected include the Tali temple, the Kozhikode beach, the Mananchira Square, Beypore Port, SM Street, CSI Church, Muchundipalli, V K Krishna Menon Museum, Mithqual mosque, Sevamandiram, Fort of Tippu, Sree Siva Temple Bilathikulam, Sree Azhakoti Bhagavathi Temple, Sree Siva Temple Thiruvannur, Sree Durga Bhagavathi Temple, Puthur, Sree Durga Bhagavathi Temple, Varakkal, Roman Catholic Church and Mother of God Church.
Tourism remains untapped as far as Kozhikode is concerned. The plan proposes Kadalundi eco-tourism village, Elathur waterfront tourism, water cruise through Canoli canal and rivers and creation of a waterway network.
It also moots a Dream City Water Front by deepening and clearing ‘Nagarachira,’ which will be transformed into a high-tech recreation area. Also pollution-free amusement parks and afforestation - mangrove planting - have also been planned in the area to make it a tourism destination. Further, a plan has been envisaged to make Kadalundi Bioreserve an eco-tourism hotspot. As part of it, homestays will be promoted and women in the area will be given training in running homestays.
Another major suggestion to develop the tourism sector is the promotion of water sports such as water scooter in the Chaliyar and development of water sports utilising clay mines in Feroke.
The draft plan suggests declaring Kadalundi, surrounded by water, as ‘Jaivagramam.’ It notes that any damage to ecology is fatal and will have far-reaching consequences. As part of it, steps will be taken to promoting organic farming, ensure drinking water and branding of agricultural products such as certification by agencies like Lacorn quality certification (India) Pvt. Ltd. The plan also calls for ban on chemical pesticides and plastics which are non-recyclable, while promoting vermicomposting, pipe composting, biogas plants and waste processing at source. It also calls for installation of septic tanks and solar power grids and promoting modernisation and revitalisation of household industries in the area.
Waste treatment remains a major headache for the civic body and the plan suggests disposal of waste at source by vermicomposting/pipe composting for residential buildings while enforcing biogas plants for commercial establishments.
It also calls for strict enforcement of septic tanks for reducing ground water pollution and introduction of new methods like incineration and plasma gasification. A plastic recycling unit at Beypore is also proposed.
Model Fishermen Village Planned
A model fishermen village with fisheries-oriented industrial zones in the coastal area, infrastructure support to the fisheries sector and fishermen community and a centre for nurturing traditional Beypore uru-making skills have been proposed. Fisheries-oriented industrial zones in the coastal areas will have facilities, including fishing boat workshops, net-repairing, net-colouring facilities and net factory, along with fish waste-based manure plants.
As part of providing infrastructure support to the fisheries sector, the plan moots fish-landing centres, harbours, modern processing and marketing facilities. Further focus is laid on slum improvement projects, protected water supply and solid waste management.
International sports com plex in 10 hectares on NH bypass
Indoor Stadium in 5 acres in the Leprosy Hospital compound
Swimming school at Kadalundi
A specialised holistic medicine geriatric hospital will be started on the Government Leprosy Hospital campus at Chevayur
Special schools in the government sector for mentally challenged children
Day care centres for physically/mentally challenged children
Recreational, meditation/exercise, health facilities for the elderly in all wards - associated with Anganvadis
Devpt of Residential Areas
The developments in the industrial and commercial sector are expected to create immigration of aspirants. High quality residential areas in the town, in the vicinity of the proposed work areas, to prevent urban sprawl have been put forward. Besides, the landward side of the beach and Eranhipalam areas with sufficient infrastructure have been identified for potential high-density residential development.
The draft plan has given special focus to women’s welfare by mooting projects aimed at job creation.
It thus proposes to start a centre to promote entrepreneurship programmes and impart training in skill development to women, women-centred industrial projects in the abandoned clay mining areas and women-only small industrial units.
As part of promoting women's entrepreneurship, training will be imparted in IT, management, cosmetology, catering, hospitality, cookery, coir product-making, home nursing, managing agricultural nurseries, textile technology, driving and automobile workshops.
Women-only small industrial units such as mechanised laundry, soda manufacturing, tailoring/ garment manufacturing, copra processing, chapathi-making, fish processing industries, catering, dairy farms and hollow brick factory in various localities will also be established.
The plan notes that the proposal to start women-centred industrial projects in abandoned clay mining areas will help create a large number of jobs.
Housing for women-headed families and widows have also been envisaged.