The Veli Tourist Village, arguably the most favoured weekend holiday spot in the city, will soon be a no-plastic zone.

Tourism Village Deputy Director Vijaya Kumaran said here recently that the 13-acre verdant piece of land that abutted the estuary of the Veli lagoon could also be counted as one of the most frequented domestic tourism destinations in the State.

More than 5,000 persons visit the tourist village each day to take speed boat rides, spot water birds, amble along the long manmade walkway adjoining the lagoon, savour the sea breeze and catch a few hours of blissful quiet away from the tumult of the city. Parents favour the village for its children’s park and swimming pool.

On weekends and holidays, the number of visitors almost doubles. The tourism officials are hard pressed on such days to remove the amount of litter left behind by the crowds.

Each day, they clear the grounds of ice-cream cups, ice-candy covers, styrofoam beakers, synthetic containers, cigarette packets, matchsticks, the occasional liquor bottle, exploded balloons and plastic trinkets.

Tourism officials say that soon visitors will not be allowed to carry plastic bags or containers into the park. The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, which manages the village, hope to set up drinking water fountains to persuade visitors not to carry bottled water into the park.

The children’s park will be developed and a music fountain set up. The KTDC will purchase three more speed boats and a similar number of pedal and “safari” boats to augment its existing fleet. The KTDC will also extend the walkway.

The estuary’s beach is devoid of any tree cover, which often makes daytime visits a scorching ordeal.

The KTDC has proposed the planting of salt-resistant varieties of trees, chiefly casuarinas (Casuarina equisetifolia), ‘punnai’ (Calophyllum inophyllum), ‘Ezha Chembakam’ (plumeria) and ‘Chelanthi’ (Hibiscus populneus) in a manner that will provide shade to visitors without impeding the view of the lagoon and the sea.

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