Uncertain over the future of the centuries-old ‘agraharams’ lining the Valiyasala street, coming under the proposed route for the monorail, the residents are all set to stage a mass protest. The residents’ association of the place arrived at the decision in a meeting held recently and the plan is to launch the protest with people’s support.
“We are going ahead with the plan to mobilise people for the protest. We have already submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy by meeting him and sent another one a few days ago by post. Yet, we have not got any assurance that our street will be excluded from the plan,” said R Krishna Iyer, president of VYASA Residents’ Association of Valiayasala.
Krishna Iyer said talks were also held with DMRC, which prepared the Detailed Project Report (DPR), but in vain. Though the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of the Kerala Monorail Corporation Limited (KMCL) says the street will be ‘least disturbed’ for the works, residents cannot rule out the fear of the delicate 200-plus old homes, resting cheek by jowl, getting badly affected.
The residents of Valiyasalai are not happy with the promise of a rehabilitation, as more than sustaining their dwellings, they wish that the street be protected for generations to come as it bears a rich heritage dating back to the 9th and 10th centuries during the time of the Ay dynasty. This settlement in the capital once flourished as ‘Kanthalloor Salai’, a centre of learning along the lines of the ancient universities like Nalanda and Thakshasila.
The monorail is proposed to start from Technocity and end at Karamana.