Biennale will boost flood-hit tourism sector, says Minister

Art everywhere: With the biennale just a fortnight away, the streets of West Kochi have begun to look festive, with graffiti adorning the walls of buildings.

Art everywhere: With the biennale just a fortnight away, the streets of West Kochi have begun to look festive, with graffiti adorning the walls of buildings.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

Over five lakh people expected to visit the 108-day art event

Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran believes that the forthcoming edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) will boost the tourism sector, which has been in the doldrums ever since the floods hit the State in August this year.

Over five lakh people are expected to visit the 108-day biennale, which gets under way on December 12. Addressing a meeting held at Bolgatty on Tuesday to review the arrangements for the biennale, he said coordination among various departments was needed to ensure flawless organisation of the art event.

“The biennale venues will be declared plastic-free,” he said, instructing the Kochi Corporation to put in place a faultless garbage movement mechanism in the area. Measures would be taken to allow the corporation to engage more workers for garbage removal, he said.

Frequency of bus and boat services to Fort Kochi would be enhanced for the benefit of biennale visitors. Responding to the demand for bus and boat services from the biennale venues at the close of each day, he said it would be addressed by the KSRTC and the State Water Transport Department. The KSINC will be asked to conduct more ro-ro services. The Cochin Port will be asked to dredge the channel at Mattancherry to facilitate ferry services. Whether there could be berthing facility for boats at Apinwall House will also be examined.

The police will install more CCTV cameras and beef up bike patrolling in connection with the arts event. A control room will be set up at Fort Kochi for addressing security issues pertaining to the biennale. The police will train taxi-auto operators, trade union representatives and homestay owners in security. The area covering the venues of the biennale will have to be rendered free of street dogs. Mr. Surendran asked the corporation to also light up the streets of Mattancherry and Fort Kochi.

An advisory committee with the District Collector as the convenor and district panchayat president, sub collector, corporation reps, officials from various departments and Kochi Biennale Foundation representatives as members was formed to see the three-month event through smoothly.

The Education Department will be asked to chip in to ensure participation and visit of students for the biennale. There was a demand to renovate the roads in West Kochi ahead of the biennale. Hoardings announcing the event will be set up at railway stations and at the Cochin International Airport in Nedumbassery.

A total of 138 artists from 32 countries will present 94 projects at the biennale. The material used for the biennale pavilion will be subsequently used to reconstruct 12 flood-damaged houses.

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Printable version | May 21, 2020 10:11:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/biennale-will-boost-flood-hit-tourism-sector-says-minister/article25608971.ece

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