The question here is not whether such projects are needed or not, rather it is a question ofThe Kochi we see today became what it is because of Railway line in 1902 by HH Rama VARMA, Pallivasal hydroelectric project in 1936 BY CP, Wellington island by Lord Bristow AND Kochin Refineries in 1964 . So Kochi had rail connectivity,seaport, electricity, water from Boothethankettu and a skilled workforce and all these resulted in Kochi becoming an industrial city. Remember heavy industries was the only aternative at that time other than agriculture. As MI pointed out if HH RamaVarma or Lord Bristow or CP had decided at that point these projects are not necessary now, Kochi would have been just another district. The railway line started in 1902 by a Maharaja whose annual budget was only 2 laks was a visionary and we are enjoying the benefits of it now. If we oppose the HSR now citing we dont need it, our next generation will mock at us . The biggest joke of the century was the all party delegation that went to the centre to request NHAI to restrict the width of NH to 30 metres. KOOPAMANDOOPANGAL
2. manner of execution
The imperial British government, a colonial power constructed the Thoppumpady bridge that connected West Kochi to the mainland. They did not collect a single paise as toll from the motorists for the same. After independence, what did our government do? Construct a BOT bridge as a replacement to this bridge that became a path breaking model for scam and fleece the common man for years on end. (Apart from the money fleeced from the public, the govt. was ready to pay compensation to Gammon almost double the amount it would have incurred if it had chosen to construct the bridge themselves).
Then Sir CP constructed FACT.Well and good. But he did not lease/sell the land to his best buddy for a song with a MoU to construct a factory on 30% of the land and undertake real estate developments in the remaining 70% of the land.
Rather than any blind opposition to new projects, it is such a mercenary and robber-baron capitalistic approach that is primarily being opposed.
Then there are environmental constraints as well. There is a saturation point for everything. Sir Robert Bristow did reclaim the backwaters to construct the Cochin Port. He would probably have gone ahead with Vallarpadom as well on its technical merits. I am not sure if he would have OKeyed the second phase of Marine Drive if he happened to be around today. He would rather have utilized the money to constructed bridges that linked all the islands and also probably elevated the existing railway line (both the 1902 one and what came after) so that it does not divide the city into two and create a chocking traffic jam and which would have done away with the need for ROBs. This would also have ensured the natural progression of the city towards the east in an environmentally friendly manner.