Monorail: No Perusal on Protecting 'Agraharam'
The promise of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC) to protect the centuries-old Valiyasala ‘agraharam’ from demolition for the proposed monorail route for the capital, which came after the constant pleas by the residents, is yet to be followed up.
The official assurance in this regard came on February 6 from the DMRC general manager, who in a letter to the president of the residents’ association in the area, said that the ‘agraharam’ would be exempted from the monorail alignment and instead ‘’the old NH-47 from Thycaud ROB to Killipalam Junction’’ will be selected. The Kerala Monorail Corporation Limited (KMCL), which is the agency entrusted with implementing the project, said it had not yet received any proposal till date from the DMRC regarding the change of route.
‘’DMRC was told to inspect the Valiyasala street, but a proposal had not reached us. And if the route is to be changed, a decision needs to be arrived at the KMCL board and then it has to be submitted to the government for clearance,’’ said P C Harikesh, managing director of KMCL. DMRC principal advisor E Sreedharan had inspected the proposed monorail alignment through the Valiyasala ‘agraharam’.
In the letter, it was mentioned that the possible alternate route too was examined. It also spoke about widening the Thycaud ROB-Killipalam section to 21 metres to facilitate erecting pillars on the median of the road.
If the route touches the ‘agraharam’, its impact would fall on 22 houses and two shops there. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted in December 2012 had undergone a revision later, but it does not touch upon changing the alignment.
When contacted, G Radhakrishnan Nair, general manager (civil), DMRC, Thiruvananthapuram, who assured exclusion of the street, said: ‘’As of now we have not taken any decision. Modifications included in the revised DPR does not mention about the routes and it includes aspects such as financing. The subject may be considered later,’’ he said.
When DMRC had requested in the letter to KMCL and the government to complete the widening works before the commencement of monorail work, examining the proposal to avoid the Valiyasala ‘agraharam’ has moved at a snail’s pace. Monorail is proposed to be set up on a 22-km route with 19 stations from Technocity to Killipalam.
It was when the local residents readied for an agitation that the officials of DMRC visited the site and gave assurance on protecting the ‘agraharam’. “DMRC officials have visited the place and heard our complaints before giving an assurance about taking an alternative route. However, the follow-up decisions had not been communicated to us,’’ said Krishna Iyer, president of VYASA Residents’ association, Valiyasala.