A temple town extends its development reach

By R. RAMABHADRAN PILLAI-The Hindu on June 25, 2011

This article originally appeared in The Hindu on june 25, 2011

Thripunithura is emerging out of the shadows of Kochi. A look at the real estate activities

REMNANTS OF A ROYAL PAST: A view of Statue junction at Thripunithura.The temple town has good facilities required for a residential area.

Thripunithura takes pride in being a town where tradition and modernity blend effortlessly. Closeness to the booming city of Kochi has given ample mileage to this erstwhile capital of the Kochi kingdom. The temple town, known for its rich cultural heritage, has been a favourite ground for real estate groups.

The many high-rises that have come up have made it a thickly populated area, leading to a quest for all-round development within the town and beyond. In fact, Thripunithura is set to emerge out of the shadows of Kochi. Many in the realty sector who have played a major role in shaping its destiny are on the lookout for more opportunities in the neighbourhood, perhaps indicating the growth of the town.

“Thripunithura is a self-contained town, with good facilities required for a residential area; the cost of living is lower compared with that in Kochi city. With its rich cultural background and peaceful environment, the town is a preferred destination of the elite and the upper middle class,” says Jayanthan Namboodiripad, managing partner of Lotus Properties, a real estate group which has constructed several residential buildings in the area.

Is the place getting saturated in terms of construction activity? No, he says. His group is constructing three more projects, with one in the final stages. Nevertheless, people who prefer affordable housing will like to move to nearby places such as Chottanikkara and Vennikkulam. His group has completed an apartment project near the Chottanikkara temple and is adding two adjacent towers.

Metro Rail

“The Metro Rail project, scheduled to reach Petta in the town, will be of great help in providing better transport facilities, which will further improve the quality of life in Thripunithura,” he says. A bypass opened recently in the town area will allow smooth passage for heavy vehicles going to Vaikom, Kottayam, Muvattupuzha, and other places, bringing in a big relief from the traffic congestion experienced on the narrow roads of the town, he says.

Krishnan Ramaswamy, marketing manager of Meridian Homes, which has completed a few housing projects in the town, says, “Proximity to places of worship, schools, and hospitals make Thripunithura an ideal choice to settle down. Infopark and SmartCity, which promises a huge employment potential, are only a few kilometres away.

Such factors consistently add value to residential property. Thripunithura has gained a lot from such development. The shooting up of land value consequent upon such a development phase has prompted several builders to take up projects in nearby areas.

For instance, Betrons, a building group, has launched villa projects in Vennikkulam. Over 40 villas will be completed, in phases, by 2013, says K.R. Suraj, marketing executive of the company.

The company is offering plots along the Vennikkulam-Mamala-Chottanikkara route. The price quoted varies from Rs.3.5 lakh to Rs.4 lakh a cent (40 sq.m). “It is a pollution-free, developing area, and the response to the projects on offer is very good,” Mr. Suraj says. Galaxy Homes, another building group, is building a residential project at Vennikkulam, Anil Gopinath, marketing manager, says.

Those who choose to live in neighbouring areas are not in anyway oblivious to the significance of Thripunithura.

Embraced by Vembanad Lake, the town can be a key location for inland navigation, which is gaining attention as an alternative in the wake of the congestion on the roads.

The Ernakulam-Etumanoor State Highway passes through the town. National Highway 49 passes through Karingachira, famous for its church. Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple, Kalikkotta Palace, the RLV College of Music and Fine Arts, and a host of other historic icons make the town famous.

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