The much-awaited Broadway and Ernakulam Market Heritage Renewal Project has finally received the nod from the state government for tender excess. The project was earlier approved under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for a sum of Rs 22 crore but could not take off due to cost escalation after 2009 when the estimates were taken.
The state government has currently approved a tender excess by Rs 14 crore, taking the total cost of the project to Rs 34 crore.
“The state government has given the nod for a tender excess of Rs 34 crore. Out of this, 50 per cent of the approved fund of Rs 22 crore will be provided by the Centre and the rest will be funded by the state government and the Corporation. A company called Marymatha will be taking up the project,” said Mayor Tony Chammany.
The project looks at the beautification of the Broadway and the Ernakulam Market keeping in tact the essential character of the heritage market. Conservation of the building and structures of heritage value in the area, waste management, traffic management and channalising of the street vendors in the area are some of the top priorities under the project.
In order to facilitate the movement of people, the walkways and roads in the area will be renovated, seating will be provided along the roads, proper signages will be provided at important points and regular intervals and the streets will also be provided with roofing. Another major highlight of the project is that, once begun it will be among the first parts of the city to be pedestrianised at least partially. This would be done in stages and a parking facility is proposed to be developed near the Marine Drive wherein visitors would be able to park their vehicles and come to the Broadway.
“We are looking at a heritage market of international standards. In the current form the heritage value of the area is under threat of degeneration. This heritage project looks at preventing this through conservation and beautification,” said the C Rajan, Secretary of the Centre for Heritage Environment and Development, which submitted the report on the project.
The shops or the street vendors will not be evicted. On the conservation side the corporation is planning to undertake a joint venture with owners of the buildings of heritage value for their conservation. Apart from this cleaning up of the canal at the market road, fire safety measures, street lighting, systematic collection and disposal of waste are some of the components of the project.