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Palakkad– Vision 2050 

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Mohan MURTI
Mohan MURTI
Degree in Law and Science; Master's in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management. Accomplished leader with over 40 years of successful experience in global business management. Demonstrated ability of revenue generation while promoting business strategy on international basis - largely based in Europe. Initially, nominated by Ministry of Commerce, Government of India as India's Representative to UNITED NATIONS-IPS, Paris and Zurich and since 1993, Director, Europe, CII, Cologne, Germany. Since 2004, Managing Director, Europe, Reliance Europe. Expertise: India & EU market entry strategies, cross-cultural trainer in aspects of doing business, M&A transactions, joint ventures, legal contract negotiations, litigation, arbitration & disputes resolution, FDI pitching & negotiations, and post merger integration, technical collaborations, joint ventures. Leadership Coach & Cross-Cultural Trainer noted for establishing team synergies. Articulate communicator with strong interpersonal skills; establishing and strengthening professional liaisons with European and Indian governments and corporations at Board level. Possess significant expertise in high level negotiations with remarkable success in employing best practices and boosting productivity. Proven success-generating business across cultures and providing business leadership combined with legal and financial aptitude required to deliver superlative returns for shareholders. Frequent guest lecturer at European management schools. Op-Ed Columnist for a leading Indian business newspaper.

George Orwell’s dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” (published in 1949) looked 35 years forward and painted a not-so-rosy vision of the future. Let me take you on what I think the future will look like 30 years or so from now? And what will Palakkad City: 2050 be like.

Here are some random but startling facts:

Palakkad district of Kerala has a total population of 3 million– 30 lakhs in 2021. Massive urbanization will happen in the next three decades and the population in 2050 will be close to 7 million– 70 lakhs. 

2050 Palakkad will be highly cosmopolitan and multicultural, multi-ethnic society. Migrant workers from within and outside the State – both white and blue collar, added to the population.

Massive investments will be made between 2021-2050 in our infrastructure– water, sewer, storm drainage, electrical power, telecommunications, transportation.

Palakkad 2050 infrastructure will evolve to be more efficient, flexible, and decentralized.

Thousands of Palakkad homes in 2050 will already be generating their own power through solar, wind or geothermal, and will be selling unused kilowatt-hours back to the KEB grid.

This will become attractive to homeowners and will help decentralize our inefficient and aging kEB power grid, which will become vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

The energy policy of Kerala 2030-2050 will take the view that decentralizing even a small portion of the grid could have significant cost-savings and environmental benefits over construction of new power plants. 

And the ongoing improvements in solar cell efficiency will make this more attractive every day, especially given our desire for more digital devices that require recharging.

Rainwater harvesting and small sanitary sewer “batch plants” will be running all over Palakkad in 2050. These are bound to have positive impacts on drainage and sewer systems. 

As for mobility, Palakkad City in 2050 will be more multi-modal and less reliant on cars:

By 2050, Urban zoning laws in Palakkad would have made Park & Ride” as the norm in several populated areas – Motor Vehicle Taxes would have increased a thousand fold. Efficient and green EMVs would dissuade people from owning cars. Autonomous Vehicles would transport. Sultanpetta and Valia Angadi would be walking streets – all  traffic will be prohibited and electric vehicles would shuttle the market for mobility. 

In Palakkad 2050, walking would have become a viable mode for many people once more. City: Palakkad 2050 may actually resemble walkable neighborhoods common in the early to mid-Twentieth Century. 
And that includes today’s  Palakkad suburbs, which are exhibiting renewed interest in traditional urban principles of mixed-use, of walking and green mobility..

By 2050, many of those Palakkad suburbs will have evolved into stand-alone, mixed-use, urbanizing areas and employment centers.

Planes, Trains, Pods and Loops

Palakkad International airport located in Palakkad- Pollachi border would be handling passenger and goods traffic.

In 2050 Palakkad, our Airport will still be part of our long-distance travel plans, but there will be other options. 
High-speed rail projects and highways across the Palakkad district will move people.

SkyTran would have solved  the problem of traffic congestion across Kerala inclluding Palakkad by creating a transport option that is high-speed, scalable and low-cost using  magnetic levitation technology combined with telecom, IoT, digital platforms, advanced material and electric batteries for implementing personal transportation systems.

Dense population centers across Palakkad would have make these modes more viable.

Palakkad 2050 will witness the beginnings of the autonomous flying car. This is not science fiction, research is already underway in numerous countries for this next leap in mobility. “Uber Elevate” should be operational in Palakkad by 2050 and be one of many future transportation choices.

Palakkad building laws and architecture must obviously change with the times. It is not unreasonable for a building to have a lifespan of 30 years or more. So today’s new buildings currently under construction will be important components of our built environment in Palakkad City: 2050. 

Architectural design will undoubtedly change over the next 30 years, so expect Palakkad to be a mix of old and new, just as they are today. 

What other changes can we expect?
There would be a new construction ban across cities in Kerala from 2024/25 and Palakkad 2050 would have expanded dramatically in the sub-urban and rural areas of the district.

I call it massive “urbanization “ of sub-urban and rural areas in Palakkad. 

Given the basic human need for interaction and social connections, offices may still exist in Palakkad 2050, but perhaps in a mixture of traditional office, co-working spaces.

In Palakkad 2050, technology would have  transformed our homes into collectors and storers of energy, with electricity, now generated by non-fossil fuel. Only those who can afford the road and motor vehicles taxes would own Electric cars with every home  equipped with a charging point. 

Palakkad 2050 being the largest of the 14 districts of Kerala would also be the largest contributor to the State exchequer, employment and Gross State Value Added. The services sector will contribute and account for a substantial share in the State GDP as well as employment. This would include health, well being and alternate medicine, tourism, education services, 

In Palakkad 2050, I would be 95 year old living in our home in Pudu Kalpathy with my 90 year old wife in assisted living care of our robot nurse. Of course, we and old people like us will be monitored 24/7 by the team of doctors using AI and other state of the art technologies. 

“AaMantram Aaksharam NaaSti
NaaSti Moolam Aoushadah,
Aayogaya Purusham NaaSti
Yojagah Tatra Durlabha”

Meaning: There is no letter in the alphabet that can  not be used as a ‘Mantra’ , and there exists no root which can not be used as a medicine. Likewise, there is no incompetent or useless person. Scarce is only a person who knows how to make good use of all these.

Mohan MURTI is Chief Representative -Europe Group Corporate Affairs for EU, Reliance Industries Limited Germany

(Views expressed are personal)

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Mohan MURTI
Mohan MURTI
Degree in Law and Science; Master's in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management. Accomplished leader with over 40 years of successful experience in global business management. Demonstrated ability of revenue generation while promoting business strategy on international basis - largely based in Europe. Initially, nominated by Ministry of Commerce, Government of India as India's Representative to UNITED NATIONS-IPS, Paris and Zurich and since 1993, Director, Europe, CII, Cologne, Germany. Since 2004, Managing Director, Europe, Reliance Europe. Expertise: India & EU market entry strategies, cross-cultural trainer in aspects of doing business, M&A transactions, joint ventures, legal contract negotiations, litigation, arbitration & disputes resolution, FDI pitching & negotiations, and post merger integration, technical collaborations, joint ventures. Leadership Coach & Cross-Cultural Trainer noted for establishing team synergies. Articulate communicator with strong interpersonal skills; establishing and strengthening professional liaisons with European and Indian governments and corporations at Board level. Possess significant expertise in high level negotiations with remarkable success in employing best practices and boosting productivity. Proven success-generating business across cultures and providing business leadership combined with legal and financial aptitude required to deliver superlative returns for shareholders. Frequent guest lecturer at European management schools. Op-Ed Columnist for a leading Indian business newspaper.
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