Kochi

DTPC’s Beach Corridor project in the doldrums

Bone of contention: At Cherai, CRZ clearance is required for Phase-II development projects like extension of parking area and installation of more toilets and lights.

Bone of contention: At Cherai, CRZ clearance is required for Phase-II development projects like extension of parking area and installation of more toilets and lights.  

Local bodies oppose setting up of basic infrastructure

The much-awaited ₹5-crore Beach Corridor project of the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) involving nine beaches in Goshree Islands is in the doldrums, with a few local bodies objecting to even the setting up of basic tourism infrastructure, citing CRZ norms.

The situation is such that even shelters for lifeguards cannot be set up on the beaches which in turn endangers the safety of tourists who venture into the sea, tourism sources said. The project also envisages the improvement of existing facilities on the beaches like parking area, walkway, food kiosks, and toilets. The Harbour Engineering Department is the executing agency of the project.

The Puthuvypu beach, which is getting crowded as days pass by, comes under the Cochin Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) and hence permissive sanction for using the land for tourism development has not been received. “There are no basic facilities for guests, including toilets. Although we are helpless, this has resulted in the Tourism Department facing flak from the public. We have intimated the CSEZ authorities that the Kerala Tourism and the DTPC will not be liable if any untoward incident involving guests happens here owing to absence of lifeguards,” the sources added.

At Cherai, CRZ clearance is required for Phase-II development projects like extension of parking area and installation of more toilets and lights. The DTPC had envisaged solar lights and CCTV on Cherai and Munambam beaches.

However, the tourism agency has taken steps to ensure the availability of lifeguards on Kuzhuppilly beach by empanelling a water sports service provider. A tourist helpdesk-cum-lifeguard centre will be operational by the first week of August.

A green carpet project for the Cherai beach too is pending thanks to alleged objections raised by the Pallippuram grama panchayat.

Subsequently, a lifeguard shelter-cum-tourism information centre and barrier-free toilet units (aimed at handicapped people) proposed under the project could be started.

“As a final attempt, we have requested the panchayat to permit us to construct a barrier-free toilet near the toilet block owned by the local body. We also informed the panchayat that the existing toilet could be modernised with standardised fittings and other facilities. However, no reply has been received so far,” the sources said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 10:12:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/dtpcs-beach-corridor-project-in-the-doldrums/article28818801.ece

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