Sunshine and beyond

Published : Apr 11, 2008 00:00 IST

FINALLY, when investment offers are liberally available and employment opportunities are being readily promised, Kerala seems to be left wondering: how would it all change its laidback cities and towns? In the coming months, Kochi, already among the fastest growing cities in India, will see investments to the tune of thousands of crores, making it a centre of private and public industrial ventures based on information technology and ports.

As much as 90 per cent of the over Rs.25,000 crore of Central investment proposed in Kerala has been earmarked for Kochi, especially for projects in and around Vypeen Island and Cochin Port. The Cochin Shipyard is set to become one of the largest and most modern ship-building centres in Asia, with a brand building unit. There is a mind-boggling array of other development projects, at various stages of implementation, in Kochi, including the flagship Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal that would make the Cochin Port a major hub port in the Indian Ocean region, the LNG terminal at Puthuvypeen, the single buoy mooring (SBM) offshore project of Kochi Refineries Limited (KRL), the petrochemical complex of the Gas Authority of India Limited at the Kochi division of FACT, the Kochi-Kannur-Bangalore gas pipeline, an LNG supply network for Kochi residents, a special economic zone under the Cochin Port Trust and rail and road links to these facilities, in addition to the Kochi metro rail project.

The other major investment destination is the IT sector, where the Rs.1,700-crore Smart City project alone is expected to generate 90,000 jobs in Kochi. Infoparks expansion plans are already a major draw and several other mega IT initiatives are sprouting in the private sector.

Technocity, the electronics city mega project, the expansion plans of Technopark and the ambitious International Deep Water Container Transshipment Terminal at Vizhinjam are the mega development projects that are likely to make a big impact on road and rail links and lead to creation of jobs in Thiruvananthapuram, the other fast developing urban centre in Kerala.

A major worry awaits the IT sector. As real estate prices and living costs escalate, will todays attractive destinations become as saturated as cities like Bangalore very soon? This is perhaps where Keralas IT planners see an advantage, given the geography of the State and its urban-rural continuum that has allowed the creation of an IT infrastructure right down to the village level. A Rs.10,000-crore development model now being proposed envisages development of hub-and-spoke model IT parks in all the 14 districts with the participation of the private sector.

When Tier-II and Tier-III cities go out of the reckoning, Kerala reckons it will be ready with Tier-IV or -V centres.

R. Krishnakumar
Sign in to Unlock member-only benefits!
  • Bookmark stories to read later.
  • Comment on stories to start conversations.
  • Subscribe to our newsletters.
  • Get notified about discounts and offers to our products.
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment