Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of Travancore in 1750. The city gets its name from the word, Thiru-Anantha-Puram, meaning the city of Anantha or "the town of Lord Anantha", the abode of the sacred serpent Anantha on which Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu trinity, reclines. Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. The city is characterized by its undulating terrain of low coastal hills with narrow winding lanes and busy commercial alleys.
The conservancy department was started in Thiruvananthapuram in 1877 during the reign of the king Ayilyam Thirunal. Following this, the town was divided into 5 divisions namely Kottaykkakam, Chalai, Sreevaraham, Manacaud and Pettah. The formation of Thiruvananthapuram town improvement committee took place after this. The first president of the committee was Dewan Peshkar Iraviperur Pillai. There were 19 members in the committee. The Thiruvananthapuram municipality came into existence in 1920. After two decades, during the reign of Sree Chithira Thirunal Thiruvananthapuram municipality was converted into the corporation. The municipality was converted into corporation on30th October 1940. During that time its headquarters was situated in the mg road, against the SMV high school. With the formation of the corporation, several multipurpose developmental projects were launched under the leadership of sir C P Ramaswami Aiyar, who was the contemporary dewan and these projects helped a lot in executing several planned developmental models in Thiruvananthapuram. The first mayor was C O Madhavan who was the chief secretary during that time. The second mayor was an elected representative, Shri Karimpuvilakam m. Govindapillai. The contemporary chief minister, Sri Pattom Thanu Pillai laid the foundation stone of the new corporation building on 19thMarchh 1962. The constructional activities were completed in 1966. The ex-prime minister late Smt. Indira Gandhi inaugurated the building on 3rd June 1966.
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
The department of town planning started functioning in 1957 with headquarters at Thiruvananthapuram and regional offices at Ernakulam and Kozhikode, mainly to ensure planned development of urban settlements in the state. Later, giving due respect to the unique scattered development pattern of settlements as well as the rural-urban continuum prevalent in the state, it was decided to widen the field of activity of the department by covering the rural settlements as well. Accordingly, in 1999, this department was renamed as the 'department of town and country planning' in the context of 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments.
The district offices of the dept. Of town & country planning were appointed as spatial planning wings of dpc's vide g.o. [rt.] No. 2003 / 99 / lad dated. 22 - 6 - 99.the officers of this department are nominated as members of various sectoral committees of corporations and municipalities to advise on the importance of spatial planning in the decentralized planning system.
The major functions of the department:
- Preparation of various plans at state, district and local level (master plans and detailed town planning schemes )
- Statutory approvals for constructions & land developments as per kmbr-1999, kpbr-2011 & town planning schemes.
- Drafting legislation & government policies on settlement planning and development.
- Nodal agency of the centrally sponsored nuis.
- Technical Secretariat of the art & heritage commission.
- To advise the lsg and government on matters related to planning and development of settlements.
- Spatial planning wing of the dpc.
REGIONAL TOWN PLANNING OFFICE
The regional town planning located in the housing board buildings, with the help of the chief town planning office, provides technical assistance to the corporation in preparing the master plan. The regional office is headed by the town planner Sri. Khaja Sharafudheen. A team of planners in the regional office and chief office are assigned with the task of preparation of the master plan.