Kovalam, the famed beach destination in the State with three crescent-shaped beaches and golden sands, is gearing up for another peak tourist season.
After an extended monsoon, the beach has started setting in with the black sand slowly giving way to the golden sand. Local people have come back to the shoreline with the colourful beach umbrellas, surf boards, and cots to corner vantage points on the Light House beach.
A good number of tourists from across the world have already started arriving despite the inclement weather. Lifeguards are keeping a close watch on those who proceed for a swim as the sea is still rough. The heavy monsoon had badly hit the income of hotels and resorts and now they pin their hopes on the peak tourist season beginning October and the chartered flight operations.
“FITs (Free Independent Travellers) and regulars had been trickling into the beach despite the monsoon. The bookings for the upcoming peak months are not encouraging,” said G. Sudhiesh Kumar, a hotelier and State president of the Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association.
Amidst this, Kerala Tourism is going ahead with a facelift programme launched last year to revive the lost glory of Kovalam and attract more foreign tourists. The Edakkal rocks, sandwiched between the Eve’s and the Lighthouse beaches, have already been developed as a sunset viewpoint. The work was over and it would soon be handed over, a tourism official said.
The work on a facilitation centre on the parking lot on the Eve’s Beach was nearing completion. The work to cap the pipes that eject wastewater to the Eve’s and the Lighthouse beaches was on. The work to correct the gradient of the narrow road that led to the parking lot on the Eve’s Beach was still to be taken up. Efforts were on to relocate the KSEB transformer, he said.
Although 100 households had been provided with biogas plants, a permanent solution to the management of garbage generated on the tourism spot is yet to emerge. The 54 ornamental lights on the walkway from Seaface to the Light House, the 84 street lights from Kovalam Junction to Palace Junction, and the three high-mast lights are to be repaired by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC).
Another high-mast light is to be erected to the south of the walkway on Eve’s Beach. Twenty new street lights are to be erected from the Palace junction to the Grove beach. Two high-mast lights will be erected near the mosque and the Grove beach.
“LED lights will only be used and the lights will have a five-year maintenance contract. The total cost of the work is Rs.1.6 crore and the City Corporation will pay the electricity charges. The work will be completed in six months,” DTPC secretary O.T. Prakash told The Hindu.
The DTPC has also refurbished the Samudra park near the entrance of KTDC’s Hotel Samudra at a cost of Rs.45 lakh. A sunset view tower and pavilion have been set up and a coffee bar has been added.