After a stand-off lasting over several months, all traders operating out of the six-decades-old municipal shopping complex at Thirunakkara in the heart of Kottayam town vacated the building on Monday.
The Kottayam municipal authorities have said that priority would be accorded to the rehabilitation of 52 evicted tenants. “A meeting of the finance committee has been scheduled for October 6 followed by a council meeting to decide on their rehabilitation. A final decision will be made after verifying the list of evictees,” Bincy Sebastian, municipal chairperson, said.
Official sources said the municipality was looking to accommodate the evicted traders to locations, including the private bus stand at Nagampadom, old police station ground at Thirunakkara and at Thiruvathukkal. The option of setting up a temporary space for the traders after demolishing a portion of the old building too was being contemplated.
The civic body, meanwhile, is planning to demolish the building in a phased manner and a meeting to identify the company for demolition works will be convened before October 15. Despite completing the eviction, there is, however, still uncertainty over completing the demolition in a time-bound manner as a new survey report relating to the demolition of the building has to be prepared.
At the same time, the municipality is also slated to invite a handful of construction companies for a presentation regarding the construction of a new building at Thirunakkara. The cost of construction is slated to be met through bank loans.