THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The imposing KSRTC terminal building at Thampanoor, which is yet to find commercial tenants, was described as a ‘’knotty problem’’ and an ‘’orphan’’ in the Kerala Assembly on Monday.
Nearly two years after it was inaugurated with much pomp, the KSRTC is yet to find takers for commercial space extending to almost one lakh sq ft on twelve floors. ‘’We invited tenders three times. No one is interested. But we have to find a solution for from this knotty problem,’’ was how Transport Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan described the situation. Radhakrishnan also said that Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan had written a letter to him regarding the plight of the building.
The issue was raised in the House by V Sivankutty MLA, who said that the building was lying in an orphaned state. The building, inaugurated in February 2014 along with the modernised bus station, had cost Rs 65 crore.
Interestingly, in July, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan himself had informed the Assembly that steps were being taken to attract traders. Apparently, nothing has been done in the four months since then. In the last Assembly session in July, Radhakrishnan had informed the Assembly, in a written reply, that only five per cent of the space had found tenants up to then. Radhakrishnan had cited two reasons; one, traders were reluctant to pay the high security deposit, and, two, the growing popularity of online trading.
Radhakrishnan had said at the time that the government was toying with the idea of reducing the rent by ten per cent and auctioning off the space. The government would also explore the possibility of reducing the security deposit by 12 to 24 times the monthly rent which will be fixed through an auction, he had said.
The recent accident at the bus station where a young mother was crushed to death under a bus also found mention in the House. V Sivankutty demanded that the government should give a job and compensation to the husband of the woman.