KOCHI: Rajendra Maidan, one of the most popular historic public spaces in the city, was opened again to the public on Monday. The entry to the ground was restricted three years back after the then GCDA council launched a laser show here. However, the present Council has decided to reopen the space to the public. Noted critic M K Sanu cut the ribbon and inaugurated the reopening of the venue. Later, Sanu and former PSC chairman K S Radhakrishnan planted ‘kanikonna’ saplings in place of the trees which were axed down for setting up the laser show.
As a symbol of freedom, two doves were released by Hibi Eden MLA and CPM leader K M Sudhakaran. Sanu said it was with the utmost happiness he was opening the ground to the public. “Rajendra Maidan is an integral part of Kochi’s public life. It was a venue which witnessed some glorious agitations during the pre-independence era. Great leaders delivered speeches at this venue, inspiring people to be a part of the freedom struggle. The ground was named after Rajendran, who was a martyr in the struggle. The air here is filled with the memories of great freedom fighters,” said Sanu, in his inaugural speech.
Meanwhile, GCDA chairman C N Mohanan said the agency plans to set up a permanent podium at the venue for the public to deliver lectures on any topic. “We will carry out beautification works here. There will be restrooms and facilities to provide drinking water. Swami Vivekananda had stopped here during his visit to Ernakulam. We will take steps to ensure the historic importance of the ground is conserved,” he said. The stage and equipment set up for the laser show will be protected with the help of fencing.
“The laser show was set up using nearly Rs 4 crore from the GCDA’s fund. That money is now lying idle with the laser show nearly abandoned. We will look into the possibilities of reviving it by bringing some experts,” he said.CPM district secretary P Rajeev said the historic Rajendra Maidan is back in the hands of the public.