Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Technopark updates

Kerala's largest IT building, the 600,000 sft Thejaswini, will be inaugrated on February 26th. This massive building will house majors like Infosys, US Tech, Prudential, Allianz, Digitella, Office Tiger and so on, as well as a 20,000 sft food court which will feature global food chains. :)

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So close.....

Took this pic of a cruise ship anchored within the existing harbour at Vizhinjam. It's very arresting proof of the potential of the port. I doubt whether there exists any other location where such a large ship could come so close to shore without any dredging.

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With the project being retendered in the coming weeks, one can expect to see massive container ships anchored here by around the year 2010.

Just to imagine that hundreds of crores in capital and maintenance dredging are being spent elsewhere when ships that other ports can only dream of, even after dredging, can dock at Vizhinjam without a bucket of sediment being removed, lol!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Resolutions and Gift socks....

New Year is the time one makes resolutions for the coming year. Whether any of those are realized is another matter altogether. What matters is that we make the best possible effort towards achieving them. Often, resolutions for the New Year are influenced by the experiences of the year as we strive to correct mistakes and improve on achievements.

It would be instructive to look at the successes and failures of 2006 and what we can look forward to in 2007.

What was Good:

- Handover of land to Infosys and US Technologies; IBS, Leela and TCS
- Arrival of a host of new IT/ITES companies like Prudential, Office Tiger, Digitella etc to Technopark and expansion of existing ones
- Commencement of work on the new International Terminal of the airport and upgradation of existing domestic terminal
- Progress on CRDP work
- JNURM project for Trivandrum
- Boost in int'l and domestic tourism to Trivandrum, and especially to Kovalam-Poovar
- New services by a host of domestic and international airlines like Sahara, Paramount, Air Arabia etc and Kerala's first charter helicopter services by Deccan Aviation and King Rotors.
- Acquisition of land for Technopark Phase III and start of the same for Phase IV - Technocity
- Award of the Aakulam International Convention Centre Complex project to the Raheja Group
- Arrival of a number of national real estate players into the city and a host of new projects around Technopark
- AIIMS status for Trivandrum Medical College
- Electrification of Trivandrum - Ernakulam rail line

What could have been Better:

- Denial of clearance for the tender of the Vizhinjam Deepwater Container Terminal on security grounds
- Delay to commencement of work on the 4-laning of NH-47
- Delay in the work of airport expansion
- Land acquisition hurdles for CRDP which resulted in extension of the project
- Shifting of proposed IIT centre from Trivandrum to Palaghat, which eventually got cancelled.
- CTS being asked to move to Cochin by interests in the Government, citing lack of space in Technopark
- Impasse in the Habitat Centre complex

.....and what we can Look Forward to in 2007:

- Handover of Technopark Phase III land to real estate majors like Rahejas, L&T etc and IT majors like PCS, IBM, Satyam etc
- Commencement of work on the 1.5 million sft, 12,000 seater Infosys campus.
- Commencement of work on the TCS Development Centre
- Completion of Leela Infopark and IBS campus
- Start of work on the 4-laning of NH-47, starting with the IT Corridor
- Award of tender for the Vizhinjam Project and start of civil work on the $ 1 billion megaproject
- Construction of long-distance bus terminal at Eanchakkal and upgradation of the Thampanoor terminal
- Completion of Phase II development of Kochuveli railway terminal and start of work on upgradation of Trivandrum Central to a world-class station
- Start of new services by International and Domestic Airlines like Saudi Arabian, Etihad, Spiceject, Kingfisher, Go-Air, Indigo, Air-One etc
- Entry of top real estate players like Rahejas, DLF, Unitech, Ascendas, Emaar, Pantaloons and more and retail giants like Shoppers' Stop, Reliance, Westside etc into the Trivandrum market
- Opening of the five star luxury Taj hotel at Vazhuthacaud
- High Court Bench in Trivandrum

.....and my marriage! Lol....kidding!

The year ahead does look awesome but let's remember one thing. All of this will come to pass only if we maintain our interest in the city's development and ensure that we apply pressure on the powers-that-be. Else many of these projects will be pushed into the "what could have been better in 2007" list. All the very best to us!

Friday, January 05, 2007

End of an era!

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Three legends retire......each one a match winner in his own right.

It's right to say that those they leave behind will be sadder than them. Happy trails, mates!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Haaaappy New Year!

Wish you all a great year ahead, folks!

Had a blast last nite at Uday Samudra resort, Kovalam. 700 partgoers and lots of dancing, music, food and fireworks. And it was just one of about twenty party spots along the Kovalam - Poovar stretch. Along with Goa, Kovalam would be the hottest party in India! Considering that half the guests last night were foreign tourists, that is a sure thing!

And it ain't cheap either. Top resorts like the Leela Kempinski or the Taj Green Cove charge upto six thousands bucks for each guest!

Partyyyy on..!!!