Kochi

Efforts on to link green spaces to walkways in Kochi

Garbage and slush that have accumulated on the Marine Drive waterfront in Kochi let out a nauseating stench, unbearable for walkers and tourists who take boat rides.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

With the ₹7.85-crore renovation of the 2.40-km-long Marine Drive walkway expected to get over by April end, efforts are on to link all walkways and green spaces on the Durbar Hall Ground-Mangalavanam stretch.

Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) is carrying out renovation work on the Greater Cochin Development Authority-owned Marine Drive stretch that extends from near the first Goshree bridge on the northern end to the southern end of the walkway that abuts Subhash Bose Park. The walkway from High Court Junction up to the Goshree bridge has been fully renovated, and tiles laid around 10 years ago by the GCDA replaced with new ones. Electrical and landscaping works are pending on the stretch.

“Altogether, we have completed over 70% of works, and the rest will be completed by April-end,” official sources said.

CSML has, in the meantime, requested the Kochi Corporation to provide a link with the waterfront walkway of Subhash Bose Park and beyond up to Rajendra Maidan, so that visitors to the Marine Drive can walk all the way up to DH Ground on the southern side and up to Mangalavanam on the northern side. This is part of the initiative to link green corridors located in the city’s western end, it is learnt.

Stench, littering

The three iconic bridges on the walkway — those resembling kettuvallom, rainbow, and Chinese fishing net — are popular photo shoot locales. Even as the renovation of the walkway is getting over, the GCDA and other government agencies have done little to clean the backwaters off the Marine Drive. The unbearable stench emanating from them and the market canal has been a matter of grave concern for the past few decades. The Kochi Corporation is under fire for not cleaning the walkway, despite heaps of garbage.

The impending completion of the walkway renovation work has brought hope to tourist boat operators, most of whom have been left without a source of income owing to the pandemic. “From over two dozen boats that operated here, their number has fallen considerably, since boats take turns in taking guests. We hope the renovation of the walkway will bring in more people to the waterfront,” said Saju T.B., secretary, Marine Drive Boat Operators Association.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 8:51:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/efforts-on-to-link-green-spaces-to-walkways-in-kochi/article34285985.ece

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