SM Street reopens today

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to inaugurate.

KOZHIKODE: Amidst a lot of controversies and discussion, the District administration is all set for the inaugural ceremony of the renovated SM Street on Saturday in the presence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, with tight police security to ward off protests by merchants. Since the announcement of the District administration restricting traffic through the street, the merchants have been opposing the decision and demanding that restrictions be lifted.

“We are not against the renovation of SM Street, which is the need of the hour and we also need our heritage street sporting a new look”, said T Nasurudin, the State President of Kerala Vyapara Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi. “But we will strongly fight against the District administration, if it does not lift the traffic ban. But we will be patient till the last Corporation Council meeting to be held on December 28 to discuss the traffic ban,” he added.

Mr Nassurudin added that members would not create any issues at the inaugural ceremony and instead they would extend full support. “We will even lend our support for the Government mission to raise this commercial hub to a higher level raising its cultural and historic importance. DC District Collector U.V. Jose said, “It was a few weeks after I took charge as Kozhikode Collector, I happened to see how dreadful SM Street was after a fire broke out, damaging a lot of property and luckily causing no injury or fatal deaths. But the grave concern of how unfit and unsafe the street was, paved the way for an urgent renovation of SM Street. Beautification was not just our target but to replace the existing wires and ensuring fire and safety regulations here.”

Rs 6.26 crore has been spent for the renovation of the street. The Collector said that the renovation idea for the street was put forward by the merchants some 30 years back due to the constant fire mishaps there. Now as a security measure, 9 fire hydrant valves have been installed in various parts of the street. The drainage facility was renovated, new washrooms and toilet facilities, streetlights, seating facilities and music system were added. Lengthy walls were decorated with various reliefs that speak about the specialty of Kozhikode, and these are only some of the beautification works. Excise Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan, Corporation Mayor Thottathil Raveendran, M.K. Muneer, MLA, A. Pradeep Kumar MLA, V.K.C. Mammed Koya, Tourism Director P. Balakiran and City Police Commissioner S. Kaliraj Mahesh Kumar will be among prominent personalities to be part of the inaugural ceremony.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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