Policy

PM responds ‘favourably' to Kerala's growth concerns

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on February 13, 2011 Published on February 13, 2011


The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is learnt to have responded ‘favourably' to proposals for development of the State Capital and the surrounding region.

This came about after leading entrepreneurs and technocrats representing stakeholder agencies met him during the last leg of his just-concluded visit to the State and presented a memorandum seeking his intervention.

STAKEHOLDER AGENCIES

The organisations were represented by Mr E.M. Najeeb, President, Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce; Mr S.N. Reghuchandran Nair, Secretary, Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce; Mr V.K. Mathews, President, Trivandrum Agenda Task Force; Mr Ram Kumar, President, Trivandrum Development Front; and Mr Abraham Thomas Joji, Vice-President, Agricultural Products and Processed Foods Exporters' Association.

The memorandum requested the Centre to take up development of the 43-km national-highway bypass from near Technopark here towards the Tamil Nadu border.

The 45-metre right-of-way is already available from Kazhakkoottam (near Technopark) till Kanjiramkulam (near the proposed Vizhinjam port site).

Projected growth in traffic is likely to demand its development as a six-lane expressway with service roads.

STPI BENEFITS

Estimates show that around 6,000 STPI (Software Technology Parks of India) units across India will be affected after the tax benefits are revoked from March this year.

The most worrisome impact would be the damage it would cause to tier-II destinations such as Thiruvananthapuram, the memorandum said.

There are 196 companies in Technopark, of which 91 per cent (180) are small and medium enterprises.

The companies sought extension of the STPI scheme for another three years, which would give the Government enough time to complete the special economic zone (SEZ).

VIZHINJAM PORT

This would also help retain the companies and attract new ones, or force a change in policy enabling notification of existing infrastructure in the public sector as SEZs.

“We request the Centre to provide all support and expedite action on requests from the State Government with regard to the proposed Vizhinjam international port and transhipment container terminal.

A proposal has already been submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, but clearance hasn't been granted as yet,” the memorandum said.

RAILWAY TERMINAL

On the proposed Kochuveli satellite railway terminal near here, the memorandum said the master plan costing Rs 80 crore has been submitted to the Railway Board for approval.

The master plan has been prepared keeping in mind the needs of the Railways in the next two decades, the memorandum recalled.

On the contentious issue of user fees at the newly opened terminal of the Thiruvananthapuram international airport, the memorandum said even the reduced rate of Rs 575 could drive away passengers to Cochin or Kozhikode airports, as they are only 200 km and 400 km from here.

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Published on February 13, 2011
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