More than a year after a long-pending beach beautification project for Shanghumughom was launched, the city’s premier beach still awaits the promised facelift.
Now, as officials say the executing agency for the project, the Harbour Engineering Department, is preparing to issue tenders for the work, the beach is in the grip of another brutal attack from the sea that has gnawed it away right up to the beach road. Last year too, the vagaries of the monsoon and the angry sea had stalled the beautification project, launched in May 2013. What, however, prevented the authorities from expediting the paperwork and launching the work when there was no rain remains a mystery.
For the record, the beautification project, to be implemented in two phases— one estimated to cost about Rs.2.5 crore and the second around Rs.1.73 crore—is expected to give a few renovation and polishing touches to the existing ‘kalmandapam’ and ‘arattukulam,’ while the children’s park is to receive more facilities. More footpaths, toilets and lighting and seating arrangements are part of the project.
Zones for senior citizens and children, pavilions, benches, food counters, stages for cultural programmes, an open air theatre, a skating ring, a new park, rehabilitation of roadside hawkers, food stalls and a much bigger parking area would be part of the project, a District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) official, said.
The project, initially envisaged to be implemented in a single phase, was later divided into two.
Tenders for the first phase were likely to be issued on Monday, the official said, adding that the first phase was expected to be completed in about seven months from the day work was launched. The second phase, which would involve mostly minor works, would take another three months after that, he added.