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Madurai to provide ‘smart’ facilities for tourists, get monuments restored
The ‘Smart City’ project, which is yet to take off in Madurai, has become the buzz in the city as several tourism-based developmental projects have been identified to facilitate easy commuting and to reduce congestion.
The ‘Smart City Mission’ was launched by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India in June 2015, and Madurai was one among 100 other cities identified for the implementation of the project, said sources.
Speaking to DT Next, Commissioner of Madurai Corporation and Special Officer, Aneesh Sekhar, on Monday said, funds amounting to Rs 1,000 crore have been earmarked for the execution of various infrastructural projects to suit the requirements of people visiting the city.
The Corporation would soon float a tender for a range of projects envisaged at an estimated cost of Rs 400 crore under strategic components with a focus on ‘area-based development’, he said.
As a part of the mission, several heritage structures have been identified at nine spots for restoration purpose. It includes Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, Pudhu Mandapam and Thermutti.
To cater to the needs of the visitors, a tourist plaza with multi-level car parking facility would be constructed near Periyar bus stand and the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple. Since vehicular traffic has been growing day by day in the city, parking lots would be built in the basements in an attempt to discourage on-street parking. Roads being too narrow in the core city area, the Corporation is also eyeing at alternative plans to reduce the congestion. For this purpose, the vegetable and flower markets were moved from the core city area to Mattuthavani, the Commissioner said, adding that the fruit market at Yanaikkal would also be shifted within a couple of weeks to ease the traffic congestions and provide a relief to the commuters.
Moreover, a three-kilometre-long walking track would be laid along the Vaigar river banks from Raja Mill road to Kuruvikaran Salai with the aid of ‘Vaigai River fund’. The public space would also be equipped with a lot of greenery, the Commissioner said.
City Engineer of Corporation, A Mathuram, said based on voting by people, priority would be accorded for developments in the Meenakshi temple area. Under the bus terminal redevelopment component, complex bus stand would get a facelift with adequate number of bus bays. Plans were also on to make battery-operated cars operational between tourist plazas and Madurai railway junction and bus stand area, he said.