Scale up Capital City’s connectivity, Infrastructure, say experts at TRIMA-2022

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
Scaling up connectivity and creation of sustainable infrastructure of international standards are two vital components for the transformation of the Kerala capital into an economic, healthcare, tourism, educational and technology hub, experts emphasised at seminar sessions of TRIMA -2022, the annual management convention of the Trivandrum Management Association (TMA).

The panellists, comprising business leaders, technocrats, administrators and planners said an enabling infrastructure is most essential to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, especially knowledge-based enterprises for which the city holds big potential.

Setting the context for deliberations on “Seamless Connectivity and World Class Infrastructure”, T Balakrishnan, former additional chief secretary, Government of Kerala, said the biggest challenge concerning the development of the capital city is how to achieve the desired goals without harming the things which are dear to all like clean air and water.

This challenge is all the more serious when it comes to addressing the future needs of old cities like Thiruvananthapuram, which have their own problems, Balakrishnan said.

The Outer Ring Road project is a transformational initiative for the city. The brand-new city coming around the ring road could be well integrated with the old city without seriously altering the core urban landscape, Balakrishnan said.

Making the key-note presentation on the theme, Raj Kalady, CEO Pallium India and former independent director Gwalior Smart City Development Corporation, said without inclusive infrastructure growth it will not be possible for the city to achieve the goals set out. But it is also crucial to preserve the ethos of the city while it grows.

He said it is important to figure out what the city wants to achieve and what needs to be done to achieve that. For instance, the city has great potential to emerge as the transit hub of South Asia, provided the right infrastructure and connectivity are developed.

Referring to the waste management issue, an acute pain point for the residents of the city, Kalady said finding a proper solution to the problem “is not a rocket science issue, but even if it is a rocket science issue, why can’t we try and solve it.”

Prabhat Kumar Mahapatra, Joint President – Operations, Adani Airport Holdings Ltd and Chief Airport Officer, Adani Trivandrum Airport, said the severest constraint faced by the International Airport here is non-availability of land needed for its expansion, which is necessary to scale up global and domestic air connectivity.

Trivandrum Airport, is however working according to a Master Plan to step up facilities required to impart a big thrust to demands of the city. By 2025, the airport will have more flights and a new integrated terminal in place, Mahapatra said.

Dr Samson Mathew, Director NATPAC, noted developing sustainable urban transport options is critical to reduce the huge environmental and human cost arising from the over dependence on already saturated roads. The alternative urban transport solutions should be based on three Cs – clean air, congestion-free roads, and convenience of the public, Dr Mathew said.

V Ajith Kumar, IRSSE, Managing Director,Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd, said a dedicated rail line is a viable solution to ensure time and cost saving mobility within the state.

Silver Line, the semi-high speed rail corridor proposed to be built, will meet the current and future demands by sharply reducing the travel time between Thiruvananthapuram and upnorth Kasaragod.

Anil Kumar, COO and Senior Vice-president, Taurus India, and secretary Awake Trivandrum, said the big challenge before the city is how to tap the huge potential of the Kerala capital by converging the development dreams with a definite action plan. “Translating problems into a solution is where the challenge lies,” said Anil Kumar.

In his keynote address to the session on ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’, Dr Saji Gopinath, Vice Chancellor, Kerala Digital University, said corporates should step in to support the early-stage growth and development of innovative enterprises that require infrastructure, financial aid, mentoring, product validation and marketing support.

“Linkage of stronger institutions can help knowledge entrepreneurship that leverages innovation and research. It will strengthen our research ecosystem as well,” said Dr Gopinath, former CEO of Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM).

Hospitality expert & Consultant PK Mohankumar, Former MD, Ginger Hotels and Founder and CEO, Turnstone Hospitality LLP, said there are countless opportunities for innovative solutions in hospitality sector, which is a highly technology dependent business.

Noting that digitalisation is changing the world, Ramesh Miraje, Head (Divisional General Manager), Nissan Digital India, said his company is working on using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for forecasting sales data.

Murthy Chaganti, MD and CEO, Asianet Satellite Communications Ltd, said the true potential and resources of the state have to be leveraged diligently.

Rajesh Nair, Associate Partner, Ernst & Young Global Ltd, who moderated the session, said innovation entrepreneurship is the core ability to dissect and understand the consumer need and make a difference.

TRIMA 2022, inaugurated by Governor Arif Mohmmed Khan on Friday concluded last evening.Over 200 delegates, including industry leaders, decision makers, professionals, members of the business fraternity and policy makers, attended the convention.

The Trivandrum Vision 2025 book which was released by the Governor during the inauguration of the convention, can be downloaded from the TMA website www.tmakerala.com

TMA is a premier management association in the country affiliated to New Delhi-based All India Management Association (AIMA).

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