Published On:June 12 2024
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Kerala Government to Approve Outer Area Corridor Project Within Two Weeks

The state government is on the verge of approving the master plan submitted by the Capital Regional Development Project-II (CRDP) for the proposed Outer Area Growth Corridor (OAGC) in the capital city. Situated on either side of the planned Outer Ring Road (ORR) project, this corridor is slated to receive approval within the next fortnight.

Highlighting the significance of the OAGC, a spokesperson for CRDP stated, "OAGC is a vital component of our urban development strategy. We are collaborating closely with the state government to ensure that all aspects of the master plan meet requisite standards and cater to the needs of the community."

To expedite the approval process, CRDP intends to convene a meeting with government representatives within the next two weeks to address and clarify certain points in the master plan. This step is deemed essential to ensure alignment among all stakeholders and resolve any potential issues before formal approval.

The master plan encompasses a draft report of the Special Investment Region (SIR) Act, outlining the development of a special investment zone. Submitted to the industries department in February, this report delineates the act's details, including land pooling and its basic structure, as implemented in other states. Industries Minister P. Rajeeve previously expressed the state government's eagerness to implement the SIR Act, including land pooling, to mitigate future land acquisition costs and provide investment opportunities for landowners.

The proposed master plan features comprehensive development strategies for land use, transportation, and infrastructure. It also proposes the establishment of eight clusters from Vizhinjam to Navaikulam, initially managed by a government-constituted special purpose vehicle (SPV), which will subsequently collaborate with private co-developers for project execution. However, the state finance department is yet to give its final approval to the ORR project, and unresolved financial viability and cost-sharing arrangements between state and central governments remain key issues.

A high-level meeting is scheduled imminently to finalize these details, which is expected to propel the project forward. Spanning 78 kilometers from Vizhinjam to Navaikulam, the ORR will feature economic zones at strategic locations, including Vizhinjam, Kovalam, Kattakada, Nedumangad, Vembayam, Mangalapuram, Kilimanoor, and Kallambalam. The state is also anticipated to grant its final approval for this proposal shortly.

As per the proposal, a logistics and industrial hub will be developed over 6.3 square kilometers at Vizhinjam, while a health tourism hub is earmarked for 4.01 square kilometers at Kovalam. Two out of the eight clusters have been designated as Seed Development Areas (SDAs), with detailed town planning schemes planned for Vizhinjam and the proposed Neopolis integrated mixed-use township in Mangalapuram.

The ORR project is viewed as a crucial development initiative for Thiruvananthapuram, aimed at alleviating traffic congestion, fostering balanced regional development, and catalyzing economic activities in the city's outer regions. The state government's forthcoming decisions are poised to significantly shape the future development trajectory of the region.

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