`Ancient' church being demolished

Staff Reporter

THRISSUR: The church authorities are demolishing St. Mary's Forane Church at Kalparambu near Irinjalakkuda in the district, which was once notified as a protected monument by the State Archaeology Department.

According to the people in the area, the demolition work had begun on Wednesday night and was continuing on Thursday. A section in the area had been opposing the demolition of the church when the drive was launched earlier, while a large section toed the line of the church authorities who wanted it to be demolished for constructing a new church.

Work on new church

The construction of the new church is almost complete near the old one. The anti-demolition section had been claiming that the church was one of the oldest churches in the region and it was constructed way back in 1733.

However, the pro-demolition sections discount these claims of antiquity of the church and aver that it did not have the historical significance as is being projected by the rival faction. The SAD had notified it to be a protected monument early last year, but the church authorities were lobbying with the Government to get it de-notified.

Public protest

The church authorities had in between launched a demolition drive early this year.

But it was then halted following the intervention of the court. However, as per the latest reports, the SAD authorities had already conceded it to be de-notified.

``We had earlier given the recommendation for notification of the church without actually entering the inside portion of the church. We could later understand that the church authorities had already undertaken several modifications in the inside portion. Also a significant portion of the church was affected in the last demolition drive. So we have recommended the de-notification of the church as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Remains Act. The Gazette notification in this regard has also been issued,'' the SAD officials said.

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