SWTD boats now obtain fuel from station at Thevara
The District Administration has issued a ‘stop memo' to the construction of a refuelling station for the State Water Transport Department (SWTD) boats at the Ernakulam Boat Jetty.
The SWTD was in the process of constructing a fuel station adjacent to its jetty, so that its ferries need not travel all the way to a fuel station in Thevara for the purpose.
“As a result, we are currently incurring huge expenses for the travel up to Thevara – wastage of fuel and the expenses for paying employees for the trip,” said an official of the agency.
While admitting that there is need for a fuel station for boats in the vicinity, District Collector Sheikh Pareeth said that numerous agencies are eyeing the prime government land (spread over two acres) on the boat jetty premises. “The presently ill-maintained area needs a complete overhaul based on a master plan. I will take up the issue with the Ministers (Tourism, Revenue, Transport etc.) concerned so that the area gets a facelift. A shopping complex, toilets etc. would change the look of the premises which is a tourist hub that offers a fabulous view of the port,” he said.
He added that the fuel station has to be relocated since there is a proposal to extend the Marine Drive walkway to the southern side, through the jetty premises.
To a question on the Revenue Department's delay in handing over the title deed for the jetty to the Kerala Tourism (KT), Mr. Pareeth said that the order is ready. “Even sans a title deed the KT ought to have ensured the upkeep of the jetty and its approach stretch,” he said.
The Central PWD had abandoned the works on the jetty after the KT refused to clear its dues. As a result, the jetty is in pathetic condition, without permanent power and water connection. The hundreds of boat passengers and tourists who arrive here have to put up with dirt and stench from the weed-infested premises, while the walls of the jetty are dotted with dirt and spit stains.