Hope fades for old building

Special Correspondent

KANNUR: Heritage conservation activists here demanding protection of a 99-year-old building at Payyannur from demolition have encountered a hurdle as the Directorate of Archaeology has reported that the building has no historical or architectural importance.

With the report submitted by Superintending Archaeologist of the Directorate of Archaeology S. Hemachandran, the old police station building at Payyannur faces demolition as the site where the building is located has been identified for constructing a mini-civil station.

The building that houses the Registration Office and the Office of the Additional Public Prosecutor was built in 1910. Activists said that the old police station building had historical and heritage value as freedom fighters removed the Union Jack from the flagpole of this building and hoisted the Tricolour during the Quit India movement. Participants in the Karivellur agrarian struggle had been locked up in the building and tortured, they added.

According to the report submitted by Dr. Hemachandran, many modifications done to the building, including laying of marble on the floor, reinforced concrete works and use of asbestos sheets, have harmed its uniqueness, depriving the building of its archaeological importance.

The report has been prepared on the basis of the views of local historians. Head of the Kannur University Department of Heritage Studies C. Balan has been quoted as saying that the building does not have any special historical importance. He is among the six people whose views have been secured for the report. Five of them have been of the view that the building has no historical value.

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