A year has passed since Tiruchi Corporation announced its ambitious Rockfort Tourism Development Project under the Smart City initiative. But there is no evidence of efforts in that direction.
While inordinate delay in getting mandatory clearance from the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out development works at its protected sites is being cited as a reason, indecision on relocation of roadside vendors is also holding out the project.
Under the project, the corporation plans to illuminate the Mainguard Gate and Rockfort Temple. Beautification of the temple tank (Teppakulam), development of the War Memorial and establishment of a Heritage Park are among the important components of the tourism development project and the civic body allotted ₹39.10 crore for it.
Introduction of pleasure boating service, restructuring roads around the Teppakulam tank, sound and light show, highlighting the historical background of the city also forms part of the beautification plans around the Rockfort and the Teppakulam.
Even one year after the announcement of the plan, the Corporation has not floated tender for the project. Its sudden anti-encroachment drive on NSB Road and Theppakulam on Saturday initially gave the impression that it was for readying the ground for the project. But the speculation turned out to be a rumour as officials described the drive as temporary and routine.
Enquiries reveal that the civic body’s formal request, seeking permission to carry out development works at Rockfort Temple and Main Guard Gate, is under the consideration of ASI. No works can be taken up without its permission, as Rockfort Temple and Main Guard Gate are protected by ASI. It sought clarifications on the proposed works and based on it, a few modifications were made in the plan.
A senior official said an ASI team recently visited the project site for first-hand inputs. Permission was expectedto come shortly. Soon after the ASI nod, the corporation would float tender for the project. Although the street vendors were up in arms against the relocation move, it would not be an issue as their livelihood would be protected.
(source : The Hindu)