After the Kochi International Marina, the first of its kind in the country, preparations are on for a similar marina at Alappuzha, where one of the country’s oldest ports is presently lying defunct.
The detailed project report (DPR) for the Alappuzha Marina is expected to be submitted to the State government before July 31 by Mumbai-based Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited, which has been awarded the project contract. Deloitte, which has joined hands with Arrol Consultancies, which has done similar work on over 30 marinas in various countries, has also been asked to explore the possibilities of a coastal shipping cargo port along with the marina.
According to discussions at a recent meeting here, which was attended by government officials and representatives of Deloitte and Arrol Consultancies led by Simon Arrol, the tender processes for the project will be completed in 10 months after the DPR is submitted.
Mr. Arrol, who made a presentation of the studies conducted so far, said the primary focus would be on the marina, which was to be linked with backwater tourism, utilising the tourism potential of Alappuzha’s heritage structures and historic canals. Submerged breakwater systems with facilities for water sports and yachting and a connection of the same to the canals to take tourists to the backwaters of Kuttanad are part of the project.
Meanwhile, work is also progressing on tourist facilities under the Tsunami Rehabilitation Project on the Alappuzha Beach. There is no word on what will be done with the upcoming structures, which include a cafeteria and a public comfort station among others, once work begins on the marina.
Interestingly, the discussions did not feature the 150-plus-year-old sea pier on the Alappuzha Beach, which was a crucial component of the Alappuzha port that was a commercial hub of the erstwhile State of Travancore. The port became defunct towards the early 1990s, and the pier, with no maintenance or conservation work done, is on its last legs. A renovation project was proposed a couple of years ago, but appears to be forgotten with focus now on the marina.