Sunday, July 08, 2007

Lakeside city...!

If I told someone that a few years from now, Trivandrum's most sought after address could be "X, Lake Drive", he or she would check to see if I had spilt a few marbles when I got up in the morning!

But consider this, high-rise apartments, malls, an international convention centre, luxury hotels, hospitals, a national institute, amusement parks and IT parks around a beautiful, green fringed lake.

No, I am not taking about about exotic location in a country far, far away. This could be what our own Aakulam Lake will look like in a few years' time. And this is not wild speculation or an overactive imagination at work. Most of the projects I have talked about are either underway or in various stages of execution. Some of them include:

- International Convention Centre Complex by the Raheja Group
- National Institute of Speech and Hearing campus
- Plaza Centres' mixed use project - 2.1 million sft of IT Park, mall and hotel
- Southern Fun City theme park at Aakulam
- Southern Air Command
- Aakulam and Veli Tourist villages
- SFS Cyber Palms
- PTC Aquascapes
- SFS Waterscapes
- Heera Infocity and so on and on.

So the development has started. Throw into the mix, India's largest IT Park, which is just 1 Km from the lakeshore - the Infosys campus is closest to the lake - as well as one of India's busiest and most modern International Airport, and we have an even stronger winner! Of course, to ensure that all of this comes to pass, several steps need to be taken urgently.

- Ensure that the restrictive and defunct TUDP regulations are removed and replaced by standard environmental protection rules to prevent bottlenecking of development while ensuring that the lake and its ecosystem are protected.

- By creating a boulevard along the lake-shore, the Government can pre-emptively prevent any encroachment of the lake as create a buffer zone to prevent adverse environmental impact on the lake itself.

- The boulevard can include a stretch of pristine lake shore, a walk way with landscaping and benches as well as a 3-lane road, skirting the lake.

- Put in place regulations to ensure that a suitable portion of the green cover around the lake is retained. For example, it can divide the lake shore into sectors and stipulate that atleast 60-70% of each sector should be virgin greenery.

- Install adequate civic infrastructure like water and waste treatment plants, dedicated electricity supply and so on for the expected population influx into the area.

- Include the area under an Integrated Development Master Plan for the entire IT Corridor extending from Kovalam to Mangalapuram.

- The International convention centre complex already has a marina project included in it. A larger marina can be built as a prime destination for sea-going yachts for which Trivandrum will be the closest marina to the international sea lanes.

The writing on the wall is clear - the area around Aakulam Lake is destined for massive development given its strategic location in between Technopark, the Airport and the city, as well as its pristine beauty. By being proactive, the authorities can prevent this ideal opportunity from turning into a town planning and environmental disaster, with accusations and counter-accusations flying all over the place. Instead, it can be used as chance to create an amazing neighbourhood of the fast expanding city. A unique chance to create an area where the modern - IT parks, malls, highrise apartments and marinas - meet the stunning beauty of natura - the lake and its green shores!

Perhaps soon, Aakulam Lake Drive will become one of India's most happening addresses!

1 comment:

  1. Hey,
    Really impressed by the title of your blog. It feels so good reading good things abt our hometown. Hope to see some changes soon...


Thanks for your comment, I will take a look at it and put it up at the earliest.