KOCHI: It seems the GCDA council, led by C N Mohanan, has taken a final decision on the laser show at Rajendra Maidan. The agency has decided to drop its plan to revive the laser show which came to a standstill one year after its launch in 2014. The GCDA has also decided to open up the Rajendra Maidan to the public from the New Year.“The GCDA will open the Rajendra Maidan to the public from January 1,” said Mohanan. “The ground was one of the most popular open spaces in the city. However, after closing the ground for the laser show, the public was not allowed to enter the Rajendra Maidan.”
He said open spaces are always an added advantage to crowded cities. Rajendra Maidan has a prominent place in the history of Kochi. It was named by the former Indian National Congress president Acharya Kripalani during a speech at the maidan on March 6, 1947, based on a message the Kochi Maharaja delivered to him. The maidan has hosted eminent personalities, including Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore and EMS, and several political and cultural events.
“However, the previous GCDA council closed it down after the launch of the multimedia laser show. We were getting many requests from various quarters for reopening it to the public. It is an ideal space for families to spend their leisure time and enjoy the beauty of Vembanad lake. Moreover, it is an iconic spot in the city which attracts domestic and international tourists alike. So the present council thinks it is not fair to keep it closed,” he added.
The laser show ‘Mazhavillazhaku’, which had stopped two years ago was an initiative by then GCDA chief N Venugopal. Installed at a cost of Rs 3.25 crore, the project came to a standstill one year after its launch. Initially, the present council took initiatives to revive it; abandoning it after spending this amount from the GCDA kitty did not seem ideal.
They also devised a plan to float a tender and identify an agency to manage the laser show. However, the plan did not materialise and the agency has now decided to scrap the project. The Rajendra Maidan will be opened to the public at a function on January 1 at 4 pm. “Various figures from the socio-cultural and political fields will attend the meeting,” said Mohanan.