COIMBATORE: The Prison department would require a land parcel of at least 150 acres to relocate the central prison out of the city, as announced by the chief minister recently.
A requisition has been placed before the district administration to acquire land in a suburban area that is well connected to the city. "At least 150 to 200 acres is required to build the new prison. We have informed the revenue department about the requirements. They will choose the right place", said a senior officer from the department.
Sources hinted that the area close to Avinashi road could be one of the possible sites. "We have to bring prisoners often to the court and to CMCH for legal and medical procedures. If the Prison is set up in Neelambur and the border of Tirupur district, adjoining Avinashi Road, there will be no difficulty in transporting prisoners," said an official in the Prisons Department.
It would take at least four years to build a new prison. The new complex would include separate enclosures for male and female prisoners, as well as an open-air prison to accommodate at least 100 prisoners, he added.
"The prison department also has given their requirements and we have been instructed to complete the land identification process soon. However, there is not that much government land available. We would have to acquire some private land," said District Revenue officer Leela Alex.
Officials expressed hope that relocation of the prison would pave the way for several development projects in the city. Proposals by the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) to build an indoor stadium and expansion of the corporation zoo have been hanging fire for long. Officials said the projects could be carried once the prison area spanning 165 acres is freed up.
Park to replace prison
Chief Minister M K Stalin during his visit last week announced the relocation of the central prison. Former chief minister Karunanidhi, during the World Classical Tamil Conference 2010, had announced plans to set up a Semmozhi Poonga after relocating the prison.