Forward on the grooves of change
Arts, culture, infrastructure, sports and tourism are all set to see changes for the better in 2007, say persons from the respective fields
THE NEXT BIG STEP Alighting from an eventful year gone by and stepping into one that holds hopes and dreams for all PHOTO: K. K. MUSTAFAH
Little hopes and big highs, happy dreams and sweet successes are all coming our way this New Year. Well, that's what the city keepers and the head honchos of vital institutions believe. Change, and change for the better, is predicted. But the road to heaven, as the saying goes, is full of potholes.
Yes, 2007 will see completion of a number of works in progress and initiation of new ones, says the District Collector, A. P. M. Mohammed Hanish. Besides providing a physical infrastructure that will catapult Kochi among the big league metros he believes that Vasantolsavam, is the beginning of a very solid cultural festival as it has got the National Festival certification from India Tourism. So if all goes well one can expect the big names in art and culture performing right here in the city. Look forward to Onam celebrations, he says. The Pullepady ROB will be ready early this year. Work will start on the roundabout at Vaduthala, Pachalam, the Ring Road from Marine Drive to North Parur, completion of the Edapally overbridge and the widening of the Sahodaran Ayyappan Road will reduce traffic congestion in the city.
Water will finally reach West Kochi this year through the HUDCO project as the last five kilometres of pipe laying are underway. The city will see an influx of IT professionals from other parts of the country as Smart City and other IT projects materialise. With Kochi being home to 13 sub-nationalities already the city will see a culinary integration as part of a planned food festival. Get ready for the food jamboree.
With its geographical advantage and very accommodative people, Kochi is ready to move to the next stage, believes City Police Commissioner, P.Vijayan. In a New Year booklet that lists out the goals for 2007 he says that the main focus this year will be to utilise all resources to stop drug trafficking. So look forward to great vigilance and a comforting sense of security.
Tourism, the buzzword that's filling the coffers for many in the city, is under obligation to change believes, Jose Dominic, CEO of cghearth, one of Kerala's leading hospitality brand. "Kerala cannot do more and more of the same and has to reinvent itself to maintain our lead in the field," said he stressing that 2007 is going to be the year of re-invention and thus of change. "It is going to be a milestone year, heralding change for the industry." He predicts more of home stays and farm tourism and more in Ayurveda. So winds of change expected in this field. In the art field too Chairman of Lalitakala Akademi, C.N. Karunakaran disclosed plans of a humane project to be unfolded this year. The Kannur jail, he said, is all set to get an art gallery for the inmates, the first ever in the country. Art that's on a roll in the State for the last couple of years will get a fillip by ameliorating the basic facilities in art galleries. Maintenance and improvement of the galleries across the State would be the main focus. Kochi's Contemporary Art Gallery, Durbar Hall too is set for an immediate facelift.
Bharat Murali, Chairman, Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, has plans to take theatre to the grassroots level with school children and schools becoming active participants.
There's sporting action in store too, for citywallas. With the synthetic track at Maharaja's College ready by April, one can look forward to the golden jubilee celebrations of the Kerala Athletics Association, says Tony Daniel, seasoned athletics official. The Association hopes to conduct a national level meet.
And when the Metro is embarking on 2007 with open arms, can entertainment, our most pleasurable pastime, be far behind.
In 2007, singer Vineet Sreenivasan will be more health conscious, he reveals. "Usually, I don't eat at the right time for lunch or dinner when I have recordings. Now, I must learn to look after my health," says the engineer who has taken singing as his vocation.
Navya Nair, wants to do more commercial films next year. "No, no wedding bells in 2007," she reiterates. I exercise regularly, so I have never been fat, really, but I will not out on more weight next year, definitely. There is this resolution, which I am sure I will break: To get up early in the morning." No Hindi movies yet, because there are limitations, she says, though she does not spell them out. More Tamil offers have come her way, in 2007 too.
So celebrate the New Year for it holds hopes and dreams for Kochi, its people, and for Kerala.
(INPUTS FROM METROPLUS TEAM)
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