Hub - Tirunelveli Junction
In the area around the Hub at Tirunelveli Junction, medium rise buildings of 5 to 7 or 8 stories would sit in a primarily pedestrianised core. The building heights could be greater if it was felt that tall buildings would enable the city to display itself better as a primary modern centre. In either case creating a new hub to serve the whole ConnectedCity would relieve pressure on redevelopment of the historic city centre.
The Smart City proposals to preserve and enhance the best of the traditional city centre can be extended, and create a historic core which retains the charm of previous generations’ contributions to the city, and provides a source of tourist income in addition to general commerce. A pedestrian priority mixed use mall along the present appropriately named Railway Feeder Road will link the temple area to an enhanced station.
Outside the conservation areas redevelopment would be encouraged as in any town growth zone, particularly to the south of the railway. Although this requires loss of good agricultural land, the effects are more than balanced by preserving such land outside the pedsheds which is currently zoned for future development.
The pedsheds of the current stations serving the well-established towns of Cheranmadevi, Palayamkottai, Seydunganallur and Thalaiyuthu will be developed to preserve each one’s character and direct new growth. Analyses will be undertaken to define existing features to be retained, such as key historic buildings and high yield agricultural land. The remaining areas will be used to provide cores of medium rise mixed use buildings of 4 to 7 stories in which civic, commercial, educational and residential uses will mingle. Beyond, family housing will be in lower-rise buildings, probably terraced houses with courtyards. Growth will be restricted to the 1km radius pedshed to ensure access to food-producing land is maintained.
The towns of Pettai and Sengulam are currently less developed. The pedshed principles are still applicable, and the mode of development will be in the style of new green quarters.
Continued electrification and double or quadruple tracking of the railway lines within the ConnectedCity will be required to provide for the additional movement. The upgrading can be financed by capturing the uplift in land value which the new stations and services will bring. The increases in rolling stock needed for frequent or on-demand services will be covered by fares from the additional passengers. The fact that at present there are so few trains provides an opportunity to run much more frequent local services within the limits of the ConnectedCity. Five of the eight proposed new towns are on the less used east-west line.
With the increase in population the road network will have to be updgraded as even with greatly improved railways demand will increase. However, since most new building will be within the pedsheds, major improvements will be primarily to routes that serve them. Outside the pedsheds development along roads will not be permitted, to ensure each settlement remains distinct with open land surrounding it.
The strain on the bus services will be eased by the new rail services. Richshaws can be integrated into the pedestrian priority centres of the pedsheds, and serve the outer areas of these medium density settlements more efficiently than cars.
New commerce and educational facilities are located within pedsheds to ensure excellent public transport access and to provide a buffer between rail track and housing.