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KOCHI: 2008 was a year that made Kochi tremble with fear, along with many other cities in the country. The threat of terror strike was hurled against Kochi too and though it did not turn out to be real, the authorities were on their toes to fight the unseen enemy.
While many cities across the country encountered acts of terror recently, Kochi escaped the wrath of them, but remained uncertain whether the hostile forces would strike at an unguarded moment. Kochi’s long coastline and the strategic location of the naval base and port make it vulnerable to infiltration from the sea. Its coastal waters got a unique opportunity of hosting the Volvo race in a commendable way. Kochi proved its worthiness as a host to an international player in water sports.
The city is continuing with its task of making infrastructure for the Vallarpadom container terminal which is set to open in the new year. The ongoing project work brought moments of disgust and anger from human rights activists as the people evicted from the acquired land were not rehabilitated properly. Unhappiness prevailed among sections of people who were forced to vacate their homes when the authorities took over the land.
Hopes abound on the SmartCity project, though 2008 could not witness much progress in the execution of the project. The IT sector itself has gone through some unhappy turn of events, but the SmartCity project is expected to overcome hurdles and bring glory to the city in the years ahead. The much publicised Cyber city at Kalamasserry got embroiled in a controversy while the Sobha Group’s hitech city remains to be executed.
With its commercial acumen, Kochi retains a prime position in the real estate scene. Builders from other States and abroad launched a host of projects that changed the view of the city landscape. The economic slowdown has cast a shadow on the prospects of the sector, but the construction activity is expected to regain its strength in the new year.
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