From ET Realty
KOCHI: The cash-strapped Goshree Islands Development Authority (Gida) is turning into a real estate developer to generate funds to carry out long-pending and promised projects. The funds will also be used for new infra projects like roads and bridges that would connect the islands with the mainland.
At a meeting of the governing council, convened by chief minister Oommen Chandy in Kochi on Monday, Gida decided to develop land owned by government or private individuals in areas which come under the agency and mobilise funds for implementing projects worth Rs 1,000 crore. The land owned by Gida and private parties in islands in Kochi will be developed by providing infrastructure. The same will be sold or leased to private investors for IT parks and private to generate funds to carry out infrastructure and development projects. A committee has been constituted to identify land parcels in islands in Kochi and prepare terms and reference for securing land from private owners. Local MP, MLAs, Gcda chairman and Kochi mayor will be part of the committee.
“The committee will submit its report to the state government within a month. Once the government approves the terms and reference, an international agency will be entrusted for preparing a detailed project report (DPR),” sources who attended the meeting said.
The plan agency will first secure government land those belonging to private parties within its limits. “Then, the agency will provide basic infrastructure to these islands. In some islands in the area, there are only very few families. But, the extent of land there would come to hundreds of acres. For example, there are only five or six families in one of the islands in an area of around 400 acres. These families holds only a few acres and the remaining land belongs to the government,” sources said.
“Once we are able to enter into an agreement with residents, they will be given alternative land on the mainland. The entire island would then be given a makeover by providing infrastructure such as road connectivity, electricity, water supply, etc. The land can then be leased out or sold to private investors or IT parks and money generated for development. Some of the families from an island have come with the request to take over their land,” he said.
The Gida, which was constituted for implementing development projects in the islands, are short of at least Rs 100 crore for carrying out works which they have already undertaken.
“First, Gida authorities should discuss the issues with public in general and stakeholders in particular. The project should be carried out only if the land-owners are convinced. If the projects have any merit, the public will accept them,” said Majnu Komath, activist.
The meeting on Monday also decided to redesign the Pizhala Bridge after the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) objected to reclaiming backwaters for the project. As per the original design, backwaters would have to be reclaimed. But the cost of the project has escalated to Rs 90 crore from the original estimate of Rs 30 crore. The meeting also gave its nod for spending Rs 37 crore to acquire land for Moolampilly-Chathanad brdiges. It was also decided to complete the new design of the water tank to be constructed in Kadamakkudy Island.