Kerala will showcase preferred tourist locations such
as Vagamon and Bekal, the Theerapadam project, setting
up of a star hotel at Nedumbassery and the Institute of
Hospitality and Culinary Science at Malayatoor along with
25 other destination development projects to the tune
of Rs 1,500 crore at the Global Investors Meet (GIM).
The state government
is in possession of land in all the major projects to
be presented at the GIM by a team headed by Tourism Minister
K V Thomas in Kochi on 18 and 19 January 2003. We
are confident that the investment will come through for
the projects as the tourism sector has emerged as a major
sector already. The major chunk of investment received
by the state has come in the tourism sector during the
last 10 years, says director of tourism Alkesh Kumar
investment options being offered on the beaches, backwaters,
forests and hill stations of the Gods Own Country
are mainly for destination development, enhancing accommodation
facilities, recreational facilities, setting up of human
resource development institutes, ayurvedic spas and treatment
centres, watersport facilities.
groups, including those from abroad, have expressed interest
in Vagamon, where 1,800 acres of land is being developed
as a holistic health destination, says Sharma.
Many have already visited Vagamon located in Idukki district.
A detailed master
plan, comprising a five-year micro-plan and a 30-year
micro-development plan, is being prepared by a New Delhi-based
consultant for developing Vagamon. Ayurvedic centres,
naturopathy centres, mini golf course, retreat centres,
eco-lodges, research and interpretation centres has been
will provide basic infrastructure facilities such as roads,
water supply, electricity, waste disposal plants to facilitate
private investors to come in a big way to develop Vagamon
into a major tourist destination.
sites are ready for investment at Bekal in Kasaragod district.
Several leading hotel groups within the country had evinced
interest in setting up properties at Bekal. The government
has land and building at Malayatoor for the proposed Institute
of Hospitality and Culinary Science. The department proposed
to set up the institute on the premises where the local
chapter of the Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel
Studies (KITTS) is functioning at Malayattoor.
The 25 minor tourism
projects to be presented in the GIM included setting up
of aquariums, oceanariums, development of beaches and
ayurvedic parks in the Malabar region, setting up of watersport
centres, cultural villages and water-based recreational
facilities at Ashtamudi.
reports for 50 projects to be submitted at the GIM are
already complete, according to Jiji Thomson, managing
director, Kerala State Industries Development Coproration
(KSIDC), the nodal agency for the GIM. Talking to reporters
here, Thomson said nearly 100 project ideas will be showcased
to prospective investors at the global meet, in which
nearly 750 delegates would attend.
has been undertaken by KSIDC and other agencies during
the past one year for making the GIM a success. However,
he cautioned against building up a hype around the GIM,
the outcome of which would have to be adjudged after years
and the benefit that may accrue to the state in the form
of investments would be long in coming.
Also, he emphasised
that no decision will be taken at the GIM and the agreement,
if any, will be signed only after the proposals are discussed
with the all-party representatives and with the cabinet
approval. At the most, what may happen was signing of
memorandums of understanding in the rarest of rare cases,
he said. Answering a question, he said no irrigation project
will be taken up at the GIM. The cost of the conduct of
the meet is pegged at around Rs 5 crore.
He said the development
schemes undertaken by the government since April 2001
will come as investment. The GIM is expected to showcase
projects worth Rs 7,788 crore. This could go up to Rs
10,000 crore if more proposals are taken up by the end
of the meet, he said.
departments like KWA, PWD, Housing Board, Health, Education
and KSRTC have projects to the tune of Rs 1,026.81 crore,
medium- and large-scale industries to the tune of Rs 1,124
crore, while small-scale industries have projects worth
Rs 67.32 crore. Projects under active promotion at the
GIM account for another Rs 5,570 crore.
These include the
Kochi skybus metro project (Rs 830 crore), an international
residential school at Thiruvananthapuram (Rs 20 crore),
sea-sand mining (Rs 300 crore), illemnite mining (Rs 1,500
crore), holistic health village (Rs 250 crore) and the
Kannur airport project (Rs 300 crore).
these projects would provide employment to 1,40,000 persons,
he said. To another question, the KSIDC managing director
said the traditional sector along with the manufacturing
sector will get pride of place at the GIM.
signed an MoU today with the Cochin Shipyard to promote
a technology park in Kochi, said Venu Nallur of the corporation.
The project envisages promotion of electronics hardware
units, IT and other knowledge-based units at the park
at Panampilly Nagar where the CSL owns land.
The total cost
of the project is Rs 65 crore and it will be promoted
as a joint venture between the shipyard, KSIDC and a select
private group. The park is expected to provide employment
to 10,000 persons. The project will be showcased in the
GIM to attract private investment.
KSIDC also signed another MoU with the Galfar group to
set up an oceanarium-cum-hi-tech theme park at Kovalam.
The cost of the project is estimated at Rs 20 crore and
is to be implemented in 15 months, summed up Jiji Thomson.