President Jeevan Saldanha Speaks about the Vision of KCCI
President Jeevan Saldanha Speaks about the Vision, Objectives, Initiatives and Projects of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industries-Mangaluru
Mangaluru: During an interaction with media persons held at Hotel Taj Gateway- Mangaluru, newly elected President of KCCI Jeevan Saldanha, joined by his new Team of Office Bearers and Directors briefed about the Vision, Objectives, Initiatives, and Projects of KCCI. He said, “In the month of September there was a change of guard at the KCCI and a new team has taken charge to fulfill the objectives for which the Chamber was formed. Today’s meet is more of an informal get together so that we could acquaint you with the Team of Office Bearers and the Directors of KKCI and also hope to share with you the vision of the KCCI for the betterment of our District and this region as a whole.”
“KCCI has over the years played a predominant role in development of the infrastructure in the erstwhile undivided South Kanara and at present in the Dakshina Kannada district. The Kanara Chamber has been open and proactive to all initiatives regarding the economic and the landmark developments in D.K. District, such as the Seaport, Airport, National Highways, Railways, MRPL, MSEZ etc.. We are on the Board of Trustees of NMPT, Board of MSEZ, Airport Consultative Committee, Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee. Konkan Railway Corporation Advisory Committee etc. We have had a host of Great Personalities who have visited and interacted with the Chamber including Governors such as Rama Devi, Margaret Alva, as well as Central Ministers such as Subramania Swamy, Shashi Taroor, Suresh Prabhu etc. as well as Chief Ministers such as HD Kumaraswamy, Veerappa Moily and other dignitaries.” added Saldanha.
He further said, “Through our various representations and interactions with people that matter, we have been able to contribute to the development of our District and in large way, shape its future. For the development of any region, planning for development of infrastructure would be of utmost importance. And considering this, the present Committee of KCCI has thought of a few initiatives to meet these objectives. They are as follows:
Mangalore has made it to the Second List of Smart Citiesand this is a Landmark event for our City.The KCCI has been active in developing the proposal for the Smart City Project. We will also be part of the Special purpose Vehicle to implement the Smart City project and will be proactive in participating in this project for its proper execution. Being strategically located, with excellent connectivity by Sea, Air and Road and being located on the mid-point of the Western Coast, Mangaluru, which is known as a Clean and Green City has been unable to retain its well- educated and talented youth. With the advent of the Smart City, our youth will have opportunities to begin new Ventures, Start ups etc., creating new Job opportunities and this may prevent our youngsters from leaving to greener pastures and in turn may help the housing market, restaurants, retail businesses etc. and the overall economic development of Mangaluru. The KCCI make all efforts to promote the Smart City Project and will showcase Mangalore,inviting Investors to invest in the Smart City, in order to make it a success.
Points for Mangaluru City Development:
Improve the Traffic sense of our people especially the wrong use of one ways and other traffic violations that result in accidents and loss of life. In this regard we will be having an Interaction with the Police Commissioner, on the issues & concerns of Traffic and Law & Order, on the 19th of October at the KCCI. Mechanised Road Crossings such as Escalators at busy intersections in order to help the elderly persons and Children cross the roads and also reduce the traffic being held up. We need adequate Storm Water Drains and Foot Paths which are tree lined, for all roads in the City. Laying of underground cables so that trees can be planted on either side of the roads in order to improve the environment and provide shade so as to reduce the stress of commuting for the pedestrians and the common man.
We need Multi-level Car Parking facilities at strategic locations such as the business and Shopping areas of the City. Proper Approach roads to the Mangaluru Central and Mangaluru Junction railway stations with adequate parking facilities. The railway under bridge at Mahakali Padapu needs to be constructed urgently in order to help the citizens of Ullal and Thalapady who suffer undue delays due to the level crossing. We need more Lung space for the City as it grows into a Smart City and we need to protect and develop Parks, Play Areas for Children, Walk ways for senior citizens, Sports Infrastructure such as Cycling Tracks, Stadiums etc.
Combating Disease such as Malaria and Dengue, which effects the well being of its people and the image of Mangalore as a Tourist destination and as a Smart City. Low cost housing for Skilled Labour and affordable accommodation and hostel facilities for students especially girls is required. There has been a Water shortage in May of last year and this problem needs to be addressed well in advance this year.
Road Connectivity to Mangaluru :
We welcome the implementation of the 4 lane Express Highway project of JICA (Japan International Co-operation agency) of 18.5 kilometers including tunneling parts of the western Ghats at a cost of 4,800 crores through the Western Ghats along NH-48 connecting Mangaluru and Bengaluru. We support the Development of the Highway to Moodbidri and Karkala via Gurpur, so that the industrial areas ofGanjimuttas well as the interior areas will develop. We need to develop good Service Roadson either side of the Highways when passing through villages and city areas so that people around these areas do not use the highways for commuting internally, which could also be the cause of traffic blockage and accidents. The Ring road project to be expedited in order to decrease the traffic congestion in the City. It also opens up new areas for development such as for housing.
Mangaluru International Airport:
The Approach road to the Airport is not proper before the Railway over bridge. Concreting needs to be completed near Sri Devi College so as to reach the airport without delays. As Mangaluru has heavy rains the open area at the arrival and departure to be covered. There is No public transport to the Airport. NURM, KSRTC and Private buses should be allowed up to the first circle just outside the airport for pick up and drop. Amenities such as Washrooms, Restaurant etc. for Visitors need to be provided as there is very basic/ no amenities for them. Car parking fees are too high for a non-metro City. Women empowerment and entrepreneurship is another priority for us. And the areas that enhances this opportunity is the IT Industry and the other is Tourism, and we will therefore focus on both these areas and put in all our efforts to promote these areas aggressively.
The KCCI calls for the setting up of a separate Karavali Tourism Development Authority to develop tourism and other related activities. The Authority could develop and showcase the Waterfront of Mangaluru and the Coastal Karavali region including Adventure Water Sports such as Surfing, Kayaking, House Boats and Beach Resorts along with the Unique Cuisine of the Karavali region. This could help market the Karavali region as a unique Coastal and Religious Destination, so that Tourists would stay overnight and this would help the overall economy such as Hotels, Shops, Restaurants etc. and thus provide employment and income to the people of this region. Event Centres by the water front for Conferences Conclaves, Seminars etc. making it an attractive place for Doctors Conferences etc. Pay and Use Toilets to be set up at all major Tourist Destinations.
Information Technology (IT) :
The KCCI is working with the Department of IT and BT in order to have an Incubation Centre including IT and ITES apart from Electronics Research and Semiconductor research and we are following it up so that such a facility is likely to come up shortly. An Innovation Hub has also been included in the Smart City project and an IT Park was included in the VISION 2020 document. We plan to host an IT Event conducted in Mangalore with the Department of IT & BT and will Invite Big Companies to participate and efforts are on to host this event in October or early November. Colleges need to have their own Incubation Centers, in order to encourage the students to become Entrepreneurs.
Goods and Services Tax:
The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax is another important milestone in the journey of our Nation and is considered the most important Tax reform undertaken since Independence, paving the way for a unified market across the Country. The Government will see a broadening of its tax base along with an ease of Tax collection. Businesses will be able to operate more efficiently and Consumers may see lower prices in the long run. The KCCI will work closely with the Tax Authorities in our District in order to conduct Seminars and Workshops for our Members and the general public on all issues concerning GST such as rates of taxes, filing of returns etc. and will extended all help to them to solve the problems they may encounter for a smooth transition to GST. We are also urging the State govt. to subsume all Levies and Cess such as the APMC Cess into the ambit of GST in order to avoid undue hardship and disadvantages to the Traders in our State as well as help in Ease of Doing business.
The setting up of a Maritime Board has been a long standing demand of the Chamber and the Bill is has been approved and the funds for the same have been allotted by the State Govt. This will lead to the development of the Trade and Commerce in the Coastal region and the Minor Ports will be developed as the ports of Gujarat have been developed. The Minor ports will be benefited through Investments and more effective and smooth administration and this will lead to transparency and accountability in utilization of allocated funds &the administration. We will co-ordinate with the State Government to see that the Maritime Board is made functional immediately.
Kulai Fishing Harbour:
The Chamber has been constantly following up regarding the Kulai Fishing Harbour and now the amount has been sanctioned. The Chamber urges speedy implementation of the Project.
Mass Urban Transport System
In order to ease the congestion on the roads of Mangaluru, due to heavy density of traffic, we need a Mass Urban Transport System may it be Bus, Trams or any viable system, for which a Root Cause Analysis study has to be made and to determine the appropriate system for our city so as to reduce the dependency on cars for private transport in the Central business areas. A Monorail or LRT can be considered from Ammebal beyond Infosys, touching Airport, NITK, NITTE and up to Manipal.
Flatted Industrial Estate Concept:
Promote the Flatted Industrial Estate Concept so that SMESs involved in Light duty conversion and warehousing need not be on the ground level only and can be located on multi-level structures with heavy lifts such as in Singapore, Vikroli etc.. These can be located within a 10-15 kms radius of the Corporation limits and can be on Build Own and Lease basis with assistance from SIDBI & KSFC.
Infrastructure Projects will be followed up, such as the Connectivity of Roads, Railways etc., in general and we will strive to enhance our stature as a Tier 2 City.
Interaction with the Police Commissioner, on the issues and concerns of Traffic and Law & Order, on the 19th of October at the KCCI. We will also be having an Interaction with the Deputy Commissioner and he has accepted our invitation to address the Chamber by the end of this month. IT Event will be conducted in Mangaluru with the Department of IT & BT in October or early November. GST Seminar with all affiliated Bodies addressed by eminent speakers in the month of November. Conclave on Tourism in association with the Tourism Department in the month of December. Hold a seminar for educating businessmen regarding the use of Business software which will help them innovate their business processes.