THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It’s hardly time to forget the innovative exercise the City Corporation and INKEL resorted to last September when they put up a ballot box asking the public to choose a design for a new market complex at Palayam. Seven months have passed; if not moth-eaten, the design must have surely gathered dust. Indications are that TRIDA, which has to take a decision on the future of the project, is slow-pedaling, mainly because it does not want INKEL involved. When it began, the project was owned by the Corporation and INKEL, who had made the presentations to the media regarding the market complex.
However, even then, the authorities were not sure who would fund or who would undertake the project. Even the technical feasibility of the designs was not cleared.
INKEL had, however, gone ahead with the idea of the public voting and presented four designs to choose from. A tent put up near the Palayam market for public voting had seen some 7,000-plus votes pouring in. Later, the boxes were sealed and taken to the INKEL office.
Two months back, at a meeting convened by the Urban Affairs Minister, it was said that once the new Chairman of TRIDA assumes office, the project would be taken up. However, there have been no discussions regarding the project since then, said the Corporation’s Welfare Standing Committee Chairman Palayam Rajan.
Sources said that the involvement of INKEL in the project has not gone down well with the officials of TRIDA, which owns a portion of the land proposed for the project.
‘’Basically, only TRIDA and the Corporation own land there. INKEL is a private player and so cannot be projected as the implementing agency. We are yet to decide on the agency. The project would be taken up at the ministry-level soon and its modalities would be finalised,’’ a TRIDA official said.
Ever since the new Government came to power, there has been uncertainty regarding the project. Now with TRIDA making it clear that it would dictate the terms of the project, the Corporation is not happy either.
Now, the shopkeepers who face eviction for the construction of a new market complex are the only happy lot in the whole scenario.