Aerotropolis – A very novel idea of taking the growth of the congested Kochi city to such a greenfield site around the airport with a farsighted vision for development. Unlike the normal organic process of urban development happening all across the state, this will be a good attempt to create a planned development region, which avoids all the hazzles of land aquisition of piecemeal development project. Due to lack of planned growth, a majority of the development pattern in the cities and towns of Kerala are evolved naturally in a haphazard way. The way the plots and development pattern has evolved create great difficulty in urban development or infrastructure project implementation – of which the major one is irregular road pattern forcing larger amount of land aquisition leading to high cost and delay.
In these circumstances taking out development out of the core city where there is lesser density makes things much easier. In this aspect the airport site is an ample one for a planned city within itself with both employment centres and residential areas with allied facilities. High growth urban centres in the cities peri – urban centres like kakkanad, Aluva, Airport area, Vallarpadam islands etc forming a ring around the core city, tend to make the congestion growth of the core city slow down proportionately. Creating ample network of transport systems integrating Road, water and rail (also metro).
The Greater Kochi Agglomeration area extends into Thrissur district on the north side. There is a large amount of people who come to Kochi up and down daily even from Thrissur city. Realising this on a physical map, the proposed Aertropolis is centrally located in this stretch. The airport has another potential from the eastern side due to its proximity to MC road starting from Angamaly, connecting to towns such as kalady, Perumbavoor, Muvattupuzha etc.The proposed Sabari rail corridor passing through airport surroundings will provide another opportunity for the people in these areas to work in the employment centres in the Aerotropolis. There is amassive upsurge in the residential developments in the nearby Aluva town and its suburbs which boasts of good proximity to the core city but without the hazzles of congested city roads, good quality water, fresh air, scenic periyar river and all these coming for a lesser price. The strategic location of the Aerotropolis itself has potentials of manifold. The benefits are not only confined to the service sector. The aerotropolis with its cargo hub will give a big boost to agriculture and allied production sector for which the surrounding area is rich (especially the eastern belt). This creates a harmonious development without much change in the existing landscape of the those region which are under of threat of land filling or other types of development.
Like the recent proposal of connecting the airport through water ways, the CIAL should provide the platform for extending metro to the Aerotropolis. The aerotropolis will get more activated if it can incorporate the controversial KCA cricket stadium- This will remove all the chaos created during each event making the city traffic into a havoc. The visitors including the players or performers need not go to the congested city. The people coming from the city can enjoy the day in the aerotropolis which also offers entertainment centres including amusement parks, aircraft museum etc. Ample hotels and restaurants (which is already available in plenty) will serve the needs of all these. The huge crowd from the northern Kerala and southern kerala(kotayam route – mc road) need not enter through city on such occasions. The airport which is starting a helicopter service and terminal soon will make the players’ and VIP visitors’ trip to resorts or tourist spots much easier n faster. They can even take a speed boat through the connected water way to enjoy a different way of travelling.
The long list of advantages of this aerotropolis thus goes.
Any development should be handled with care especially in a place like Kerala. The growth of such an airport city can make haphazard growth trends in the adjoining town of Angamaly and even Aluva. There should strict development regulations for the immediate surrounding of the aerotropolis. The real estate sector is so dynamic and sometimes uncontrollable that it causes bad impacts on the planned growth thereby leaving less difference from the situation in the core Kochi city.
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