Calling for the need to develop the Old Railway Station into a suburban passenger hub, a Janakeeya convention was held on the station premises on Thursday. Justice V K Krishna Iyer, chairman of the Old Railway Station Vikasana Samithi, inaugurated the movement and said the station should be developed.
He sought the active participation of Union ministers like A K Antony and K V Thomas in this regard. P Rajeeve MP said subtle steps were being taken to derail the development of the Old Railway Station.
“After mass movements from several quarters demanding the renovation of the station, the Divisional Railway Manager was transferred. The General Manager of the Southern Railways, who had visited the station earlier, flatly said that it was not possible to develop the station. There is a lot of apathy towards developmental projects in Kerala,” Rajeeve stated. Meanwhile, he criticised steps taken by Union Minister K V Thomas in developing the station through the private-public partnership (PPP) mode.
“The Minister held a meeting in this regard in Thiruvananthapuram without informing the samithis involved in reviving the project. If development has to take place, everybody should stand united,” Rajeeve added. He called for the need to strengthen people’s participation in reviving the station and said mass agitations by the public led to the handing over of the metro rail project to the DMRC.
“There were many attempts not to hand over the work to the DMRC, despite its impeccable record. People formed metro chains and raised their voices demanding the project to be handed over to the DMRC. It proved to be successful. We can achieve the dream of the Old Railway Station renovation, if we strengthen our mass agitation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Justice Gopinathan pointed out the apathy of the Central Government to the state in terms of developmental projects. In Kochi, the railways are yet to pay the money for the construction of Edappally RoB and other similar projects.
At the convention, it was also discussed that the High Court order to rehabilitate families living near the Old Railway Station should be implemented immediately.
Sibi Malayil, M M Lawrence, Justice Shamsudeen, C N Dinesh Mani, M K Sanu and Professor C K Ramachandran were present.