• Benny Kuriakose


Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium, Illegal Use of the Gallery

The photos which are attached were taken when the construction of the concrete gallery around the stadium started in 1985. It was against all the rules and regulations which were in force at that time. The aim of the Government was to have a shopping complex under the gallery which is 60 feet high under the pretext of the development of sports facilities. Chalai market was loosing its prominence and Palayam was gaining more importance as the city was growing more towards the north and east. Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP), Sugathakumari teacher and many other citizens of Thiruvananthapuram wanted to protest against the construction which was supposed to come all around. Govindankutty K who was working with Indian Express at that time wrote an article with the title "Concrete Disfigurement of the City's Open Spaces". All the press was silenced within a few days.

KSSP wanted me to study the proposals and it was decided to file a Public Interest Litigation in the high court. I met Adv. Bal Gangadhara Menon who was also a freedom fighter through Prof. M K Prasad. He did not receive any fees from me and fought the case till the end.

The OP No. of the case is 8383 of 1985. The judgement of the high court had the following rulings;

1. The flyover to be built in the next one year. 2. More parking to be provided for the stadium by demolishing some quarters building. 3. The space under the gallery to be used only for sports related activities and not even for the offices of the polices department. 4. The construction of the gallery should not continue and should be stopped immediately.

The flyover was built in one year. The parking to the stadium was added by demolishing some of the buildings. The road widening was carried out by the government by reducing the footpath widths. The construction of the gallery was stopped immediately as per the High Court's judgement. The space under the gallery was unused for a very long time.

After more than 20 years, the whole space under the gallery is now being used for commercial purposes. This is against the high court judgement and is contempt of court. The space under the gallery is being used as "auditorium" and the stadium is used for award ceremonies rather than for sports activities.

This is a typical case of many of our developmental activities. All the stadium cum shopping complex constructed in the state was a failure. This might be true regarding the bus stand cum shopping complex. Already the traffic is increasing exponentially and in addition, the commercial activities will also increase the congestion. Even after 25 years, we are not learning from the mistakes in the past.


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