THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the first phase of the construction of four-laning the Karamana-Kaliyikkavila stretch is in full swing, the authorities are likely to miss the deadline for the completion on October 23 owing to the uncertainties over relocating the mosque and tomb near KSRTC Central Works at Pappanamcode.
Though the district administration had proposed earmarking four cents of land on the premises of KSRTC Central Works for relocating the tomb and place of worship, the KSRTC decided not to give the land for the purpose.
Sources said that the Karamana Jama’at authorities, who own and take care of the mosque and tomb, were also not ready to take up the alternative sites suggested by the district administration as they want to retain the tomb beside the road itself.
The standoff between the administration, KSRTC and Jama’at has clearly brought to light the fact that the 50-metre stretch of the highway will be untouched for at least six months from now.
As the road here has been widened to 30.2 metres with a 3.5-metre-wide median, the vehicles coming from the Neyyattinkara side to the city have to negotiate a huge bottleneck as a major portion of the tomb and prayer centre project on to the road.
“We have decided not to give land for the tomb. If we surrender even a cent of land, more demands will be raised by other parties in the future, which would lead to chaos. The decision in this regard was taken at a high-level meeting convened on May 25,” said R Sudhakaran, General Manager, KSRTC.
Meanwhile, District Collector Biju Prabhakar told ‘City Express’ that though the administration had also proposed a land measuring six cents belonging to BSNL beside Kaimanam -Thiruvallom stretch for relocating the tomb and mosque, the Jama’at were not willing to shift to that location.
“As KSRTC was not ready to surrender its land, we proposed six cents of land for tomb and three cents for Gandhi Memorial statue at the BSNL land. But the mosque authorities are adamant on shifting to a land beside the NH itself. Other than that, we also proposed a few cents of land in the around seven acres just opposite the SCT Engineering College which is entangled in legal issues for quite sometime. Though the mosque authorities expressed their willingness to shift there, we can’t touch the land unless a High Court stay order obtained by the landlord is vacated. So, it will take at least another six months for settling the issue because of legal procedures. We don’t think that we can arrive at an agreement with the mosque authorities before the inauguration of the first phase of Karamana-Pravachambalam stretch proposed during the end of October,” he said.
The mosque authorities told ‘City Express’ they were not hindering the development of the highway. “We are not against development. We are ready to move from here when the authorities provide a suitable land for us. As KSRTC unions are opposing the plan to shift the mosque to the KSRTC Central Works, the only option left for us is the land opposite the SCT Engineering College. But, it is learnt that this land also is mired in legal issues. Though we are ready to shift, we would like to retain the century-old tomb here itself,” said Hassanar Pillai, caretaker of the tomb and mosque.