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Showing posts with label Trivandrum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trivandrum. Show all posts

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Widening of Congested Thycaud Flyover is on Cards

Introduction

If reports are true, the Kerala Government is mulling over a project to widen already congested Thycaud flyover, near Thampanoor Railway Station in Trivandrum. Many town planners have already talked about this in the past. But nothing happened in the past. This project envisages the widening of the congested flyover into a four-lane type to ease the traffic near the city center. The Trivandrum Corporation is planning to include this in the Trivandrum Metro Rail Project to find the extra fund for this. If this gets approved, it will be the fourth flyover construction as part of the Trivandrum Metro Rail Project. However, the latest addition needs the approval from the Central Ministry of Urban Development. Let us keep our fingers crossed and expect the best. In this blog post, we will see what the municipal corporation wants to do this old Thycaud flyover in the capital city of the state.

thampanoor railway station

Construction of Flyovers

As part of the revised blueprint that will go for approval, a total of four flyovers will be constructed as part of Trivandrum Metro Rail Project. Apart from Thampanoor flyover, new ones will come up at Sreekaryam, Pattom and Ulloor junctions to ease the traffic in the national highway. Returning to the Thampanoor construction, the metro pillars will come over the new flyover that runs from Railway Mail Service junction to Chenthitta. While undertaking the widening of the existing flyover, the approach roads to the flyover will also be widened to ease the traffic through the proposed four-lane flyover. Hence, the Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation is planning to widen the existing flyover to improve the traffic movement from Thycaud and Chenthitta to Thampanoor. The estimated cost of this project Rs. 180 crore.

flyovers

Issues with Present Flyover

Currently, the junction on the flyover that connects Chenthitta and Thycaud to Thampanoor is too narrow. This leads to the traffic bottleneck during the peak hours. Sometimes, the traffic snarls become very long as there is no provision for the pedestrian movements on the flyover. The traffic police posted at this flyover junction will have harrowing time during the peak hours. The accidents involving pedestrian movements are also on the rise. Adding to the fuel fire is the lack of traffic signals at this junction to aid the traffic police. This always leads to commotion and traffic jams at this junction. The Trivandrum Corporation wants to put an end to this logjam by widening this flyover at the heart of the city. It believes that the construction of the four-lane flyover and the widening of the approach roads will considerably ease the traffic through this point.

thampanoor flyover

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Thakkaaram – Authority on Genuine Malabar Food

Introduction

The customers can find Thakkaaram at Naaz Tower, near Pulimood Junction in Thiruvananthapuram City.  Formed in 2008 in Kannur, it has become a must-stop restaurant for diners who love peaceful environment and tasty food. The staffs of this unique restaurant boast of providing a unique settings and variety Malabar food. The name of this restaurant comes from the colloquial Malabar word Thakkaaram that translates to “Salkaaram” in normal Malayalam language or “To Greet” in English language. This word is not familiar to people who are living in other parts of Kerala.

thakkaram restaurant

Mission of Thakkaaram

The restaurant aspires to spread its tentacles of good work all across the globe in the coming years, banking on its customer-oriented services and the love for large variety of Malabar cuisines.

bus model at thakkaram

Unique Selling Proposition

Thakkaaram Restaurant has caught the imaginations of people in a short span of time due its unique selling propositions. All these propositions have made the guest feel as they are royalties. Once people step their feet inside the premises, they swear to come back again after having tasted the food served there. The propositions of the business are as follows.

  • Treats every customer as its guests.
  • Provides authentic Malabar variety recipes at affordable costs
  • Serves more than 70 variety dishes to its customers.
  • Customers get a special dish and all the 70 varieties of cuisines every day

malayalam menu

Hotel Interior and Ambience

When we interacted with its founder Mohammed Shihab, one thing that struck me was his love for the uniqueness and perfection in job. A visitor to this hotel situated at Palayam would see the uniqueness in interior design. Its interior is converted to that of a Bus and a Train.  These carefully drafted structures are well decorated to offer much-needed peace and ambience to the customers. Thakkaaram’s Menu Catalogue has also got a unique display of menu titles.  Such titles cannot be seen elsewhere in other restaurants across the state. What is more interesting is that the customers get a menu catalogue in Malayalam.

thakkaram ambience

Commitment to Quality, Variety and Hygiene

When the first branch of Thakkaaram hotel was started at Thaliparambu in Kannur, its owner Shihab had placed a giant CCTV camera in the kitchen to enable the customers see how the workers made food in the kitchen. This approach brought an impression that the hotel brand serves only the "Quality and Hygienic" food to its customers. Moreover, the restaurant staff members make sure that the customers happy and satisfied. These attributes of Thakkaaram have helped it gain the faith of the customers across Kerala. The business also boasts of its variety of cuisines. The most common dishes served to the customers include “Samaavar”, “Kathaladakkal”, “Ammayeede Appatharangal”, “Puthiyaapla Set”, “Dum Ka Dum Biriyani”, “Urmath Set”, “Puthiyaapla Koalu”, “Thakkaarathinte Kismath”, “Kozhiyile Melaakkam”, “Thokkilangaadi Subaad”, “Thakkaarinthinte Pousak”, “Aadinte Athrippam”, “Pothinte Athirakkali”, “Kadalinte Khudrath”, “Kayalinte Sambathu”, and “Nangalude Pachakarithottam”.

thakkaram at work

Working Hours

Unlike other restaurants operating in the state of Kerala, Thakkaaram follows flexible timings keeping in mind the convenience of its customers. Moreover, this flexible timing enables the staff to work with great love and passion towards the customer satisfaction. Usually, the restaurant opens by 11:30 AM and closes by 11:00 PM every day. However, the staff members get an off time between 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM so that they can get some rest during the course of a day.

thakkaram staff
 

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

UDS – A Resort that Combines Best Elements of Nature with Modern Day Convenience

Introduction

Located at a distance of 15 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport and 10 kilometers from the city centre, Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Hotel & Spa is a 5-star luxury hotel with exceptional standards of luxury, elegance and service. Branded as UDS in the hospitality industry, it has bagged the World Luxury Hotel Award for the sixth consecutive year since 2010. It’s Managing Director Mr. Rajeshekharan Nair and Executive Director Ms. Karthika Nair had received the coveted award in a glittering ceremony at Hotel Harbor Grand, Hong Kong on October 24, 2015.

uds group

Hotel Specialties

Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Hotel & Spa is situated on a 5-hectare unspoiled land, amidst coconut palms and tropical plants facing the seafront. Since the location is protected from the strong winds emanating from the sea, the hotel offers a peaceful location that marries the best elements of nature with the best comforts of modern-day technology and the world. To the visiting guests, it gives a hearty concoction of exclusivity, emotion and an experience of a spicy aroma blended in the perfume of the warm ocean nearby. This ideal destination of luxury seekers in its own right has 225 rooms, 5 Restaurants, 3 Banquet Halls, 3 Swimming Pools, Slim & Shape Naturopathy Centre, Ayur Ashram Ayurveda & Yoga Centre, Beauty Studio, Dental Clinic, Ocean Spa, Health Club, Boutique Shop and the extensive lawns.  Moreover, of the 225 rooms available at the hotel, 17 are executive suites that cater to the requirements of business class people and celebrities.  

uds resort

In general, the multi-cuisine restaurants operating under aegis of the UDS brand offer lavish and elaborate la carte and buffet spreads for breakfast, lunch, dinner and various special occasions. The guests visiting these restaurants get the privilege of savoring the taste of mouth-watering food against the backdrop of live band that plays out the best of music. Thus, the scrumptious food offered and excellent service in these restaurants enables the guests to have a complete and memorable experience in an ambient atmosphere. 

uds hotel rooms

Medical Tourism

Understanding the emerging potential of the holistic well-being, the UDS Group has come out with a wellness concept christened as Blue Lotus. Thinking along these lines, it has developed a therapy method that follows the ethnic Thai concept of Spa at its Ocean Spa business. This ethnic Thai concept incorporates the untold secrets of health, beauty and healing. Another enterprising business that has come out with his novel thought is Ayur Ashram, which provides the time-tested techniques and treatments followed in Ayurveda. The therapies and treatments rolled out to the deserving customers at Ayur Ashram are developed under the supervision of qualified doctors and well-trained therapists. Since the holistic treatment requires a wholesome approach, the centre offers a traditional ambience and clean environments.

uds medical tourism

Other Sister Concerns of UDS Group

Other properties of the prestigious UDS Group include Uday Suites, the only 4-star Airport Hotel in Thiruvananthapuram; Uday Sky Kitchen; and Uday Samudra Ayurveda & Yoga Beach Resort. The upcoming projects of this enormously growing Group in Indian Hospitality sector are Hotel & Convention Centre and backwater resort in Alleppey, and Ayurveda Hill Resort in Wagamon, near Thekkady.  The backwater hotel is expected to have 190+ rooms and the convention centre attached to it would have a seating capacity of over 2500.

Awards in Recognition of Par Excellence Service

Since its inception, the UDS group has bagged many awards for its highly efficient and customizable services in the hospitality industry.  They are listed below for the readers’ reference.

uds recognition

  1. World Luxury Hotel Award for 6 consecutive years since 2010. The recent one would be bestowed upon the Uday Samudra Hotel & Spa on October 24, 2015 in a colorful ceremony in Hong Kong.
  2. Kerala State Tourism Awards for the Best 4-star Hotel for the years 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14.
  3. Kerala State Tourism Award for the Best Tourism Product from the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala.

Monday, 12 December 2016

5 Must-visit Places for Children in Thiruvananthapuram City

Introduction

When children complete examinations and get leaves or holidays, the first thing they ask is for a plan to for a trip. Then, parents have to chart out the costs, distance and the climate to zero in on the ideal destination for the family. Bearing the budget in the mind, they look for the local destinations that keep their wards happy and contented. The parents in the capital city of the God’s Own Country don’t have to get disheartened as there are several destinations they can think of within their family budget. In this blog post, we will list out five places exclusively meant for children in Thiruvananthapuram city.

thiruvananthapuram places

Sought-after Places for Children

Children love to go out when the holidays start. It does not matter which part of the year these holidays belong to. If you are in Thiruvananthapuram, then you can visit the following places to keep your children entertained and well-informed. These places not only entertain your wards but also teach lessons to them. Hence, it would not go as a futile exercise. So, take your children to these places and earn appreciations as good parents.

1.   Magic Planet: The items in the park enthral both the young and old alike. Normally, visitors will take more than a day fun tricks and tracks that Magic Planet has to offer. More importantly, the children would see the performers exhibiting street magic, mirror maze, the rope tricks, coin tricks, card games and other mind games. A virtual guide “Harry” the mascot will take you to a museum dedicated to magic by the name ”History of Mystery” and explain the exhibits for you. The Kazhakuttom-situated Park is open from 10:00 AM to 3:00PM. Monday is a holiday for the park.

magic planet thiruvananthapuram

2.    Zoological Park: A trip to zoo and museum is an experience in itself. Situated in the heart of the city, the zoo has an overall area of 96 acres. It is home to the white tiger, Malar, the lions, the leopards, etc. Tour generally starts off with the enclosure for monkeys. Then, the tour would take you to the aviary, the rhinos, the hippopotamus, the zebras, the deer and then to the tigers, the leopards and the lions. After this section, people can take little break and then go towards the flightless birds walking majestically in the enclosures. Other major attractions of the zoo are anaconda and peacock pen. Last is the reptile section, wherein visitors can see different types of snakes. If you have enough time, you can visit the museum to see the display of artefacts from the bygone era. The zoo is open from 10:00 AM to 5:15 PM every day.  It is usually closed on Tuesdays.

thiruvananthapuram zoo

3.   Planetarium: If your wards love science and like cosmos, then you can take them to Priyadarshini planetarium. It is situated at PMG junction, just behind the Post Master General’s Office. In the same premises, you can also see Kerala State Science and Technology Museum. In this museum, you can see the exhibits and equipment that explain the theorems that you might have learned in the class. The main attraction of the museum is the presence of models of dinosaur from Triassic and Jurassic era. On payment of a nominal fee, you can see the skies through a telescope and try to find different star formations. The museum is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

thiruvananthapuram planetarium

4.   Kovalam Surf Club: If you and your children want to surf the waves, the Kovalam Surf Club is the ideal place for you. It provides training for the people to ride safely the waves. The trainers at the club boast of training the kids who are as young as 5 years. The adventure-seeking youngsters need to stay extra guarded while going for surfing in the sea.

kovalam surf club

5.    Elephant Rehabilitation Center: This is about an hour of drive away from the Thiruvananthapuram city. It is part of the famous Agasthyavanam Biological Park. If you are lucky enough, you can catch the glimpse of wildlife along the road. Located at a place Kottur, this rehabilitation centre has elephants of all ages. The main star performers at the centre are the younger ones that entertain the visitors with their naughty actions. There are provisions for the elephant safari in this rehabilitation center.

elephant rehabilitation

Sunday, 11 December 2016

IFFK Gets off to a Colourful and Memorable Start

Introduction

Every year, the Government of Kerala organizes the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) under the aegis of Kerala Chalachithra Kala Academy.  It is normally conducted in the month of December. During the week-long event, fans of good films throng the streets of the capital city of God’s Own Country for the annual tryst of the best flicks from around the world. Though the country celebrates International Film Festival of India (IFFI) every year at a different venue, the stature of the Kerala version of the event is increasing steadily in the eyes of the movie lovers. This year, the state is organizing the 21st edition of IFFK at various venues across the capital city. The current version of IFFK was kick-started on December 9, 2016. It will screen about 184 movies from over 62 countries. In this blog post, we will detail what all film enthusiasts can expect from this international film festival.

iffk 2016

IFFK Becomes Bigger

With the passage of every year, the number of people participating in the Kerala version of International Film Festival is increasing proportionately.  Though the budget provided for the Kerala version of film festival is less when compared that for the India Film Festival in Goa, the people’s participation is more in the Kerala version. It is partly due to the movie-educated audience who know very well how to appreciate good films. That is the reason the organizers of IFFK only compile good flicks with appreciable stories and themes. The fans of good films know this only well. This is why the movie enthusiasts from across the country and from abroad make it a point to take part in this festival. Despite the low-budget, people throng the capital city of Kerala because of the quality of movies screened every year.

iffk inauguration

IFFK – 21st Edition

The latest edition of IFFK got off to a colourful start on December 9, 2016 at Kanakakunnu Palace. This year’s film festival will screen 184 films from over 62 countries. According to the itinerary available, the flick Rafian (Parting) by the debutant director will hit the screens to entertain the audience immediately after the inauguration.  For judging the movies, the organizers have constituted a five-member jury. Israel-born Arab filmmaker Michel Khleifi is the head of the jury.  The noted actors Baran Kosari and Seema Biswas are also the members of this celebrated jury.  The organizers are going to have 490 shows in 13 theatres across the state capital. A total of 15,000 people had applied for getting the delegate passes. However, the authorities issued only 13,000 delegate passes for the state’s biggest cultural extravaganza this year.  This edition of IFFK coincides with the “Vajra Keralam Folk Festival”. The state is organizing this folk festival to commemorate the 60th year of the state formation.

iffk delegates

Films in the Festival

The film festival has a section on “Effects of Migration”. In this category, there are films that depict the hardships faced by the people while migrating from one country to another. For instance, the flick Raftan talks about the story of Nabi and his girlfriend when they try to migrate from Iran to Europe. Altogether, this section has 8 films. The other curated sections include “Gender Bender” and a retrospective of English flick and television director Ken Loach. Each year, the film festival has a focus country. This year, the focus country is Kazakhstan. Hence, five films from this focus country have also been included in this edition. One of the five flicks is the one directed by the celebrated movie-maker Darezhan Omirbayev.  This 2012 flick is loosely based on the work of Fyodor Dostovesky by the name "Crime and Punishment". As part of the festival, the organizers are going to honour noted Czech theatre director, screenwriter and actor Jiri Menzel with Lifetime Achievement Award.

iffk films

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Model Mini City on the Anvil in Trivandrum

Introduction

The Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the center had proposed the setting up of Smart Cities across the country in the last year (2015). As per the plan, the Prime Minister Modi had asked the Ministry of Urban Welfare to find different cities across the country that could be developed as the Smart Cities. Accordingly, the ministry had prepared a first list of cities, and it asked the civic agencies in these cities to compile the requirements for the submission to the center. Our capital city Thiruvananthapuram comes in the second list of cities that have been identified for the Smart City development. After getting the Ministry of Urban Welfare's intimation, the Trivandrum Corporation has started compiling the requirements with the help of the citizens’ support. One of the packages identified for the project is the Mini City development in the state capital within a small area. In this blog post, we will see what the concept of Mini City in the Smart City concept and how the civic body of the city is planning to make it happen.

mini city

Mini City Concept

One of the requirements put forward by the center is the development of a Mini City within the Smart City region wherein the civic body in charge has to set up a small city as a model with all the modern amenities. As per the norms laid, the civic body has to set up the Mini City through re-development. The officials from the Ministry of Urban Welfare would visit this Mini City to find out the scale of development in the selected region. Once the civic body gets the go ahead permission, it can think of developing other regions in the city based on this development model.  For this purpose, the Trivandrum Corporation has to find a consultant. There is a process underway to identify the expert in town planning from a list of eight selected consultants. The officials of the civic body are going to meet on November 29, 2016 to select the expert town planner.

mini city model

Mini City Development

The civic bodies of various cities across the country have to offer most modern facilities to the people to raise their standards of life. Hence, the civic bodies would start searching for the place where they can easily set up his model Mini City immediately after getting the Smart City status. The civic body has to find at least 50 acres of land for this purpose. The state experts in town planning opine that the vacant land found next to the Akkulam Boat Club is ideal for this purpose. In the past, State Housing Board earmarked the above mentioned land for Satellite City development. Somehow, it did not materialize at that time. This place was even considered for the setting up of the National Games Village in the run up to the 2015 National Games. The total cost for the development of Model Mini City is Rs. 1000 crore. Being a huge expenditure, the central government, the civic body and the state government need to find out the ways to mobilize the money for this purpose.

place near akkulam

Monday, 28 November 2016

Project Arteria Phase 2 Makes City More Colorful

Introduction

In the run up to the National Games in Thiruvananthapuram City in 2015, the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) and Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala joined hands and implemented the Phase 1 of Arteria Project. Under this project, the artists had painted about 7000 square feet of University Stadium walls with colorful themes drawn from the city’s culture and heritage. It was a grand success, with people appreciating the work done by over 21 established artists. The walls of the stadium stretching from PMG junction to Palayam got painted with colorful themes. It added color and vibrancy to the National Games. The passersby stood for a minute and enjoyed the work by these artists. Along with the phase 2 implementation, the authorities took steps to preserve the painting of the first phase. Following the success of the first phase, the two departments related to the tourism joined hands again to make the city more colorful. In this blog, we will see what the government departments have done in phase 2 of the city beautification project.

arteria phase 1 painting

Phase 2 Arteria Project

The Project Arteria that has turned the city walls into long canvas has comeback. After the success of the first phase of Arteria Project, the DTPC has taken on board the Tourism Department to carry out the phase 2 of Arteria Project.   In the second phase of the city beautification project, the iconic buildings of the capital city of the God’s Own Country such as Kanakakunnu Palace, Mascot Hotel, Chandrasekharan Nair and Trivandrum Corporation have become the vast canvas for the artists. In this phase, nearly 15000 square feet of city walls got painted with beautiful images. This phase of the city beautification project got completed with the total cost of about Rs. 37 lakh. The authorities chose the themes for the painting from t different painting competitions that were organized for this purpose.

arteria phase 2 painting

Themes for Phase 2 Arteria

In the second phase, the Arteria project selected the location-specific themes. For instance, “the history of erstwhile Travancore dynasty” was the theme for the painting on the walls of Kanakakunnu Palace in the city. The paining had a length of 200 feet and a height of 6 feet. Meanwhile, the theme for the painting on the walls of Mascot hotel was derived from “Responsible Tourism”. The paining depicted on the walls of Mascot hotel had a length of 30 feet and a height of 8 feet. The themes for the paintings at Tourism Directorate, Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium and Trivandrum Corporation were not decided. Hence, the participating artists were free to take suitable themes. As part of the initiative, artists had covered the 100-foot-long and five-foot high compound wall and 10-foot-high and 10-foot long building wall with paintings. In the case of corporation building, the artists did the theme-based painting on 60-foot-long and 50-foot high wall. The Chandarasekharan Nair Stadium had its 30-foot long and 25-foot-high wall painted with colourful themes. With the second phase of Arteria Project, major buildings in the Rajpath starting from Kanakakunnu to Palayam have been colorfully decorated to boost the tourism in the capital city.

completed arteria phase2

Friday, 25 November 2016

Social Media Endorses Manju Warrier’s Stand on Her Failed Marriage with Dileep

Introduction

A year back, there was a lot of discussion in the social and traditional media about the divorce the film actors Dileep and Manju Warrier. During those tumultuous times, the gifted actress Manju Warrier told the media that she wanted to walk out the wedlock, citing her husband Dileep’s proximity with another actress Kavya Madhavan. With the today’s wedding of Dileep and Kavya Madhavan, it has become clear that the actress Manju Warrier was correct. With the media – both social and traditional – showering praise on the new-wed couple, it is time to think whether the Manju’s stance was right or not. In this blog, we will look into the circumstances in which the actors Dileep and Manju Warrier applied for divorce. Readers go through this blog and please express your view on this development

manju dileep kavya

Aftermath of High-Profile Divorce

When Dileep and Manju Warrier applied for divorce in a family court in Cochin, there were a lot of talks about the reasons behind the decision to separate, without thinking about their daughter Meenakshi. Some of the people had the view that the main reason for the Dileep to divorce Manju Warrier was his wish to marry Kavya Madhavan. In support of this view, there were rumours that Dileep and Kavya Madhavan were seen together at many places. People have even posted the snaps of them being together in the social media. Both Kavya Madhavan and Dileep chose to stay silent on this issue. However, the growing bond between Dileep with Kavya Madhavan forced Manju Warrier to react. This led to their separation, after the careful deliberation by the couple last year. There was another thought process doing rounds in the media. It was about dominant nature of Manju Warrier. This school of thought further argued that Manju Warrier wanted to pursue her career, against the wish of her husband. They cited the strong coming back of Manju Warrier as an actress in the blockbuster flick ‘How Old Are You?’ They further argued that she wanted to go after the fame and name, risking her family life and against the wish of their child Meenakshi.

dileep manju marriage


Actress Manju Warrier’s Response

There were more criticisms on Manju Warrier. She gave one deft reply to all her critics, which stumped them and forced them to keep mum. She told the people, especially her fans that she wanted to go away from the life of Dileep. When the media persons asked her the reason she told that she was against her husband mingling more with Kavya Madhavan.  Despite her protest, her husband and actor Dileep mingled more with Kavya Madhavan.  Despite this clarification, there were some criticisms against her from some quarters. She chose to stay mum and concentrated on her work.  With her dedication, hard work and talent, she won many accolades for her role in the movie “How Old Are You?’ wherein she portrayed the role of an independent-thinking woman who wanted to earn some space in the family.

how old are you

Dileep-Kavya Madhavan Wedding

At the time of separation, Dileep had made the tall claim that he would go for the second marriage only when his daughter Meenakshi gives him permission to do so. Kavya Madhavan also told the media that Dileep was like her elder brother. All these claims that these two had made in the run up to the high-profile divorce have proved wrong after the marriage of Dileep with Kavya Madhavan, which was solemnized on November 25, 2016. This marriage also proved what Manju Warrier had said then right.  Now, the arguments in favour of the actress Manju Warrier are more dominant in the media. People who criticised the actress now have realized that the decision to move out of the irreparable marriage was right. Manju did know that Dileep is going to marry Kavya Madhavan one day. Hence, she opted out gracefully, elevating her stature in the eyes of public.

dileep kavya marriage

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Vizhinjam Seaport Site Receives Big Cargo Ship

Introduction

Ever since the start of work for the Vizhinjam International Seaport off the coast of Trivandrum, the dredging work is going on, digging the soil from the sea to the shore through a set of pipes. So far, the dredging equipment employed was small and the amount of soil from the sea removed was less, triggering the anxiety of delay in the commissioning of the port, ahead of the start of work for similar seaport at Colachel in Tamil Nadu about 30 kilometers from the seaport site. In order to offset the fear and to speed up the sea-digging work the Adani Group has brought a bigger and powerful dredger to the Vizhinjam site. There is a lot of talk about this event in the media circles. In this blog, we will see what this new machine is capable of and how it was brought to the Vizhinjam shore.

vizhinjam seaport

Semi-submersible Heavy Load Carrier

Since the beginning of work for the Vizhinjam International Seaport, the authorities are able to finish only about 20% of dredging work. Hence the promoter of this project – Adani Group – has brought in bigger and powerful dredger to the Vizhinjam shore. This powerful machine has come riding pillion on a semi-submersible heavy load carrier ship. Since the current sea depth is not enough for this bigger ship, the authorities have docked it in the deep-sea. The name of this ship is MV Combi Dock 1. This ship is can take in adequate measure of water and submerge partly in the sea. When the carrier ship gets partially submerged in the sea, the dredger that is on it starts floating on the sea water. The driver of the machine can power it on and propel it to the sea. After the unloading of the dredger machine, the carrier ship can drain the sea water to come back to the sea surface fully.  The crew members of the carrier are currently planning to bring it still closer to the site before offloading the dredger machine. This is mainly used to transport the heavy load machines like big dredgers to various places.

semi-submerisble high load carrier


Powerful Dredgers

The project promoter Adani Group has decided to bring the heavy-duty dredgers to further dig the continental shelf just under sea to make room for the docking of heavy and long container ships in the future. After the initial level of dredging, the team has found the rocks on the continental shelf. Hence, they have to bring in powerful dredgers to further dig the shelf near the shore. Moreover, the authorities are planning to use these powerful machines to dig big holes on the rock surface to pile in strong concrete blocks so that they can construct other structures over them. By constructing the powerful structures on the ocean-front, the authorities want to safeguard the land recovered from the sea from ocean currents and powerful sea waves. After securing the land recovered from the sea, the authorities are going to fill it with soil brought from other areas to bring it to the shore level.

dredger at work

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Microsoft Coming Up at Technopark in Trivandrum

Introduction

With setting up of Technopark, the largest Green Information Technology Park in the country, many companies have set their offices in its premises, providing 40, 000 people direct employment and 1, 50, 000 indirect employment to people of the capital city of the God’s Own Country, At present over 2, 800 companies have opened their offices in the first and second phase of the Technopark at Kazhakuttom in Trivandrum.  The Technopark is in the expansion-spree with the construction of the third phase, which is nearing completion. There is news in the digital and conventional media in the state that the software behemoth Microsoft has shown interest in taking up some office space in the third phase of Technopark.  In this blog post, we will be looking at the news in detail to check whether it is true or not.

microsoft technopark

Microsoft in Technopark

According to the latest information available from the top Information Technology (IT) Department official of the state, the software behemoth Microsoft has envisaged some interest in setting up its office in the third phase of Technopark. The State Government wants to commission the new phase of Technopark with some well-known companies on board. Hence, it has approached the companies operating in other cities of the country. As a result, the leading IT companies such as HCL, CapGemini and Oracle have shown interest in the new venture of the state. These companies have already taken space in Technopark Phase 3. Along with these companies, Microsoft is planning to take the office space available in “Gold-rated Building”. This report says the software behemoth wants to set up a cloud computing facility in that space with staff strength of 30 employees. It seems the Microsoft authorities have told the IT department that it has no plans to undertake software export from the new facility. Hence, the Technopark authorities are planning to give only the required space for Microsoft. The sources in the IT department have clarified that they have based this information on the preliminary inquiry of the company. It needs to confirm it.

microsoft cloud computing

Technopark Phase 3

The Technopark Phase 3 has total land area of 92 acres, and it consists of two buildings – Anamudi and Ponmudi. The authorities have named these buildings after famous peaks in the state of Kerala. Altogether the Phase 3 has one million square feet for the occupation by reputed IT companies. The buildings have 6 passenger lifts, 2 freight lifts, building management system and all other support facilities required by IT/ITES companies. There is also a 110 KV substation for providing uninterrupted power to the two buildings mentioned above.  Apart from these, the campus has shopping malls, a commercial complex, a hotel and a convention center. Technopark Phase 3 also has rooms for nurturing start-ups that allow the budding entrepreneurs to develop their business and work models in an eco-friendly environment.

technopark phase 3

Monday, 21 November 2016

Parvathy Puthanar Canal to Get Back its Past Glory

Introduction

Historic Parvathi Puthanar canal that was witness to many events happening on its banks that changed the destiny of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore is lying in shambles, totally infested with wild shrubs and weeds, and the wastes put in by people living near its banks.  Over the years, the people have neglected it, and it has become non-navigable and its water unusable. If we now walk by its banks, we get the stench smell. This is the current state of this historic canal that was once the waterway for the goods transportation from far off cities to the capital city of the erstwhile Travancore dynasty.  Through the years of neglect, the depths of the canal at several places has much become reduced due to the accumulation of filth from around 750 houses situated on its banks. After such a long period of neglect, the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation has taken steps to clean up the canal to make it navigable. In this blog post, we will be looking at the steps taken by the civic body of the city to restore the historic Parvathy Puthanar canal to its past glory.

neglected parvathy puthanar

Survey to Fix the Boundary of the Canal

In order to restore the historic canal, the surveying of the area under the Muttathara village has started. As part of this exercise, the authorities are trying to find survey stones under the Ponnara Bridge. In the second phase, the six villages such as Muttathara, Pettah, Kadakampally, Menamkularm, Attipra and Velloor will also come under the survey for the same purpose. Based on this exercise, the authorities will fix the boundaries of the dilapidated canal along the 16 kilometre stretch. The 16 kilometre stretch of the canal links Kovalam with Akkulam.  The survey will also be used to find the ‘puram boke’ land or buffer zone. This enables the authorities to detect the encroachments on the canal.  Though the deadline given for the work is November 30, 2016, the authorities will not finish the survey in time as they are working with the skeletal staff of four surveyors.

parvathy puthanar boundaries

Canal Restoration Plan

According to the plan worked out, the full stretch of the canal connecting Kovalam to Akkulam will be made navigable.  At Akkulam, the canal will open into backwaters. To make this happen, the depth of the canal should increase. So, the authorities are planning to dredge the canal and clean it. In order to stop the mixing of sewage from the banks with canal water, the authorities are planning to lay new sewage pipe lines. Authorities believe that the canal has a unique and natural design. This design enables it flushes itself out water naturally using sea water during heavy rainfall. Hence, they believe that with some effort at cleaning the canal will keep it clean for many years.

parvathy puthanar renovation

Potential of Restored Canal

At reasonable depth, the Parvathy Puthanar canal will become navigable for cruise operations from Trivandrum International Airport to Kovalam.  As an extension, the canal will also be linked to the Kollam-Kottapuram National Waterway 3 to increase the transport through water, which is the cheapest mode available in the state. After completion, the navigation canal will have a length of 16 kilometres and a depth of 2.2 meters. The renovated canal has the hot potential to become a hot tourism circuit in the city, as it links two famous destinations such as Akkulam and Kovalam.

artist impression

Saturday, 19 November 2016

IFFK to Get Permanent Venue at Chitranjali Studio Complex

Introduction

The film lovers of the capital city of the God’s Own Country are going to get a permanent venue for International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK). After much deliberation in the midst of several controversies, the Government of Kerala has selected Thiruvallom Chithranjali Studio as the permanent view for IFFK. The Cultural Affairs and Cinema Minister of Kerala A.K. Balan had disclosed this in a press briefing. He further added that the necessary infrastructure for the permanent venue will come up on Chitranjali Studio Complex in Trivandrum.  In this blog post, let us see what else the honorable Minister has to say about this venue and the reason for choosing the same.

iffk festival

Current Affairs of IFFK

When the authorities organize IFFK, they screen the chosen cinemas under different categories at different theaters. Some theaters are nearby while some others are far off. Again the show timings in some theaters were at odd times, forcing the film lovers to run around in the city to reach them in time. Since it is a big international event, the participants have to go 12 theaters scattered across the city to see the movies in different categories. The facilities at some of these theaters were not enough to host such a big event.  In those times, there were many criticisms against the government and the organizers. The hardships faced by the participants forced some organizers to demand for a permanent venue in the past. However, the government was not able to find a suitable site for this international event in the past due to many compelling reasons. On looking at the land usage at the Film Studio Complex at Thiruvallom, the Government of Kerala found that it used only 20 acres and remaining 60 acres of land has remained unused for many years.  Hence, it decided to set up the IFFK venue at Chitranjali Studio Complex in the capital city.

theater venues

New IFFK Venue

This time around the State Government has finally decided to put its foot down on the venue issue, thereby silencing the critics forever.  The news about the choosing of the venue was given by the honorable Minister of State for Cultural Affairs and Cinema A. K. Balan. Briefing the media, the Minister told that the government has chosen Chitranjali Studio as the permanent venue for IFFK. Along with the DPR for the proposed film city at the studio complex in Thiruvallom, the details about the infrastructure requirements for IFFK will also be included, he further added. Detailing the decision taken at the Cabinet meeting, the Minister also added that the Government of Kerala has already earmarked a sum of Rs. 50 crore for the setting up of the IFFK venue at Chitranjali Studio Complex at Thiruvallom. Another government body Kerala Film Development Cooperation (KFDC) will implement the project and Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) will raise the fund for it. 

new iffk venue

Trivandrum to Get Infrastructure Boost

Introduction

In a recent development, the newly constituted Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIFB) got administrative approval from the State Government for five major projects. The five projects are the construction of one flyover each at Sreekariyam, Pattom and Ulloor junctions to remove the traffic bottlenecks during the peak hours of a day. The fourth project is the four-laning of 6.5-kilometer-long Pravachambalam-Vazhimukku section of National Highway 66 and the first building at the Technocity. When these projects get implemented, it would add to the growing stature of the capital city of the God’s Own Country.  This will also become the fillip to the requirements that may arise when the city is developed into a Smart City.  In this blog post, we will look at the projects at some details and the likely change they might bring to the capital city Trivandrum.

infrastructure rpojects

KIFB Clearance for Five Mega Projects

The newly constituted KIFB has given in principle approval for five major infrastructure projects in the state capital. The total cost expected to execute this project is to the tune of Rs. 525.99 crore. It is for the first time that many high-value infrastructure projects are given administrative permission in the state. According to the learned sources in the KIFB, four projects come under the Public Works Department (PWD) and one comes under the Information Technology (IT) Department of the Kerala Government. Of the five projects, three are flyover construction, one four-laning of Pravachambalam-Vazhimukku corridor of National Highway 66 and the last one is the making of first building in Technocity. The latest reports available in the public domain suggest that Kerala Government has already given the administrative clearance for them already.  The construction of the three flyovers at Pattom, Ulloor and Sreekariyam junctions has originally been proposed by Delhi Metro Rail Cooperation (DMRC) as part of the Technocity-Karamana elevated metro corridor. The total length of the elevated corridor is 21.82 kilometers.

infrastructure project sanctioned

Wdening of NH 66 Stretch

When completed, the four-laned stretch will have a width of 30.2 meter. The proposed stretch of the widened road will have a median of 3.5 meter to accommodate the Metro up to Neyyattinkara. Under Reach I, the PWD would complete the widening of 21.82-kilometer Technocity-Karamana elevated metro corridor. After this, the PWD would take up the widening of 29.2-kilometer Karamana-Kaliyikavila stretch of National Highway 66. The total expected cost of the Reach II is Rs. 153 crore. KIFB has allocated an initial installment of Rs. 50 crore for the Reach II already.

road widening

Flyover Construction

As stated earlier the building of three flyovers was initially proposed by DMRC as part of 21.82-kilometer-long Technocity-Karamana elevated metro corridor. Under this scheme, a flyover will come at Pattom, Ulloor and Sreekariyam junctions. The total cost of the Sreekariyam flyover is Rs. 135.37 crore, and it will have common pillars for vehicular traffic and MMTS. KIFB has already allocated a sum of Rs. 50 crore for this 630-meter long Sreekariyam flyover. As per the plan, the 570-meter flyover at Pattom will start near the Public Service Commission (PSC) office and extend up to the Plamood. Against the expected cost of Rs. 84.60 crore, KIFB has released Rs. 32 crore as advance for its construction. Meanwhile, the authorities have proposed the 390-meter Ulloor flyover on the Medical College side. Of the expected cost of Rs. 52.68 crore, KIFB has allocated an initial amount of Rs. 18 crore for this flyover. For this three-flyover project, KIFB has acquired nearly 2.27 hectares of the urban land and shifted 163 buildings at a cost of Rs. 272.68 crore.

new flyovers

Technocity Building

The first building at the proposed Technocity will have an effective area of 2 lakh square-feet.  The estimated cost for constructing this building is Rs. 100 crore. However, KIFB has allocated only Rs. 2 crore for this project as the first installment. 

technocity building