It seems there is no end to controversies surrounding ‘Emerging Kerala’ and the latest one is over the proposed state-of-the-art convention centre to be set up here. But the proposal, which is on display at the official website of the ‘Emerging Kerala’, says that it was not the Chandrasekharan Nair stadium alone that was in the radar of the proponents of the proposal.
It also points to the land available at the now-defunct swimming pool at Vellayambalam here, owned by the Water Authority, as potential location to build the centre.
The proposal says that a permanent industrial exhibition centre or convention centre should be constructed either at the Chandrasekharan Nair stadium, owned by the Police Department, or at the site of the swimming pool. The project cost is estimated to be `8 crore and it is proposed to be given on a lease for 15 years for Rs 1 crore per annum.
The brief of the proposal reads that, ‘the locations are within the centre of the city and easily accessible by air/rail. They also can offer parking space without putting strain on city road network.’ The stadium was expected to be ready before the 35th National Games. The National Games Organising Committee has already informed that the warm up facility for the athletes taking part in the Games would be set up at the stadium.
It was also reported that the swimming pool would be used as the venue for water polo event. It is in these context that the proposal came as a surprise to many.
Meanwhile, the Directorate of Sports & Youth Affairs held talks with the officials of the Water Authority over re-construction of the swimming pool which remains dug up for the last two years or so.
‘’If the proposal is about constructing shopping mall and convention centre without bringing down the existing structures, then it is ok. We haven’t given a proposal to the government to construct such a convention centre at the cost of existing sports facilities,’’ said S Najumudeen, additional director of the Sports and Youth Directorate.