Earth mover to be deployed for tidying up Fort Kochi beachfront

With public ire mounting against the Kochi Corporation, Kerala Tourism, Ernakulam District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), and Fort Kochi Heritage Conservation Society for heaps of garbage on the Fort Kochi beach, tourism stakeholders have envisaged deploying an earth mover there to frequently clean what was once the prime beach in central Kerala.

This comes in the wake of the assessment that the 22 cleaning personnel deployed by the Ernakulam District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) and other agencies to tidy the beach and the walkway are inadequate. Permanent deployment of an earth mover on the beach will entail a monthly expense of around ₹1.50 lakh, at an average rent of ₹5,000 a day, tourism sources said.

“It would be tough for the cash-strapped DTPC and the Heritage Conservation Society to raise this amount, since both are autonomous bodies which function with little government support. We could deploy an earth mover twice or thrice a week, if it becomes tough to mobilise ₹1.50 lakh per month,” they added.

Official sources said the same set of cleaning workers could be deployed for sorting biodegradable and other garbage that accumulate on the beach, following which they can be transported to respective dumping/garbage treatment yards. In addition, the Heritage Conservation Society ought to be revamped and held responsible for cleanliness and upkeep of the entire heritage locale, to ensure its effective functioning. This is because too many agencies are currently involved in ensuring cleanliness of the locale.

Sea wall

In the meantime, a project report submitted early this year by IIT-Madras to build an innovative sea wall on the beachfront to prevent sea erosion, which has considerably destroyed much of the beachfront, is gathering dust. This is mainly because the IIT, which had been paid ₹25 lakh for the study, and the Irrigation Department, which was tasked with implementing the project, are on different pages on the issue, it is learnt.

Reinforcing the beach is a pre-requisite to renovating the concrete walkway that suffered extensive damage this monsoon, following sea erosion. Benches and garbage bins atop the walkway too are crying for upkeep. Fear is rife that encroachers, who have already occupied much of the space beside the walkway, will occupy more areas, including tiled kiosks which were built using tourism funds.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 10:35:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/earth-mover-to-be-deployed-for-tidying-up-fort-kochi-beachfront/article36935298.ece

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