THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Army is going for a walk. The Military Station at Pangode will have the city’s first ‘Walking Plaza’ for quiet strolls in the mornings and evenings. The 1.2-km-long ‘plaza’ will come up around the Army Officers’ Institute at Pangode, and will have tiled pavements, electrification and even piped music.
"Speakers will be installed at every 200 metres for the benefit of the walkers,’’ a Defence spokesperson said.
According to an Army official, the walking plaza at the officers’ institute will be open to "members of the institute’’ only. Many Army cantonments in the country have similar facilities, he said. The Army is on the lookout for suitable builders for its pet project.
Arguably, capital Thiruvananthapuram should have the largest population of earnest morning and evening walkers, but the civic authorities are yet to dream up something akin to a ‘Walking Plaza'.
The seemingly harmless act of walking was the subject of a controversy even after the perfectly motorable Vellayambalam-Museum stretch was shut to traffic so that morning walkers could indulge.
The pet project of the then minister M Vijayakumar, however, survived only a week owing to a public outcry. At the time, one suggestion made was that the civic authorities should create exclusive walking zones instead of commandeering city streets for the purpose. The suggestion has remained on paper.