THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Finally, the wait is over. The Manaveeyam Veedhi, a hub of cultural activities in the city, will soon be converted as the cultural corridor of the capital. The city corporation has expedited steps to give a makeover to the city's favourite spot. Recently, the civic authorities convened a meeting with the members of Manaveeyam Theruvorakootam to take up the project ahead of the coming elections.
It's a street where artists gather and perform every Sunday evening. It is also a favourite spot where artists for pictures were drawn and books were read. It was here where films have been screened and plays staged. The lane is tucked between two busy roads in Vellayambalam. For the last 17 years, this ordinary road had somehow turned into a cultural hub. But now the stretch is being used as a parking space.
Though a decision was made to ban parking on the stretch, it is not yet clear whether the road needs to be shut for traffic and be used exclusively for cultural activities. The main aim of the project is to reclaim its old glory as a public space for hosting cultural events.
The local body has set aside Rs 3 crore under the Smart City Project to transform the stretch into a smart cultural street. The authorities had failed to reach a consensus with the Manaveeyam Theruvorakootam, the cultural group, to reserve it exclusively for cultural events.The civic authorities have initiated steps to clear the project before January 31 to ensure this is completed before the elections.A major demand is to turn the street into a friendly space for the physically challenged, children and senior citizens.
To manage the vehicular movement when there are events in the street, the mayor has decided to put traffic bollards on both the entry points of the street. The street walls will be polished and can be used for other art activities. "A temporary stage with roofing, separate toilet facility for men, women and transgenders, storage room, green room will also be set up," said Sanoop Gopikrishna, SCTL general manager. "As we have approved the design for the project in the meeting, we hope to finalise tenders before the elections,” he said.