KOCHI: Allegations against the State Housing Board’s proposed international convention centre at the site adjacent to Mangalavanam are baseless and the project will be executed in the most eco-friendly manner, said Board chairman P Prasad.
Talking to DC, Mr. Prasad said that the project is in conceptual stage and a section of people with vested interests who want to sabotage the project are raising baseless allegations. “Many big corporate and business establishments which were eyeing the prime property want the project to be scrapped at any cost. Two similar proposals mooted during the previous LDF government’s term had to be dropped even before its inception due to opposition from various corners,” he said.
The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study of the project will be done by the most prestigious agency of national repute. The chairman stated that the project site is not within the eco sensitive zone notified by the Union Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change in 2017.
“Those who oppose the project have no idea about its finer details. In the 17.9 acres of the proposed project site, 2.5 acres will be exclusively set aside for environment conservation initiatives, including mangrove forestation. The greening programmes will be beneficial for even the Mangalavanam,” he added. Plans are also afoot to constitute a special purpose vehicle for the project, added the Board chairman.
The Housing Board purchased the proposed site, government purampoke land, at Rs.2.91 lakh per cent.
The convention centre will have facilities to exhibit and sell products of local artisan. Local residents will benefit from the project. “The Board has not proposed it only for the elite hi-fi customers, but it will also have auditoriums and other facilities at affordable rate for common people. Being a PUS project, interests of the government and people will be protected.”
Meanwhile, he admitted that the Board is in deep financial crisis and finding it difficult to survive, despite having revenue towers across the state....