Lack of amenities affecting tourism potential of Cherai beach

A file photo of visitors at the Cherai beach front.  

Even as the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) is going ahead with its projects to enhance infrastructure at the Cherai beach, several complaints remain about the popular tourism destination.

A ₹43-lakh project under the Green Carpet scheme of the Tourism Department is nearing completion at the beach and is likely to be commissioned shortly. Under the scheme, funds are allotted for improving infrastructure at tourism destinations.

“The construction of differently-abled-friendly toilets, complete with a ramp and a watch tower, and related amenities for lifeguards is now 80% complete and may be commissioned next month. An information centre, signage, and CCTV network are also being set up,” said S. Vijayakumar, Ernakulam DTPC secretary.

While appreciative of the initiative of the DTPC, the Cherai Tourism Organisation said no major projects to develop the beach into a major tourism destination were being undertaken by the authorities concerned.

“As basic an amenity such as parking space for vehicles of visitors is unavailable, leading to traffic congestion along the beach during peak seasons and holidays. Precious little has been done to address the problem despite having government land that can be utilised as parking space away from the beach that could also lead to the development of adjoining areas. Illegal waste dumping along the beach is another major problem,” said Vinoj M.V., president of the organisation.

He said the demand for a shack policy benefiting local people and helping them earn a livelihood, thus making them participants in tourism development, was also overlooked by the local body. Mr. Vinoj said illegal commercial establishments, including homestays and resorts, were thriving with impunity along the beach with little intervention by authorities.

Cherai panchayat president Remani Ajayan said the local body was aware of the problem and was drawing up a plan to deal with it. “Model code of conduct ahead of the Assembly election kicked in within a month since the new governing committee assumed charge, leaving us with little time to make any meaningful intervention. We are now planning to give UA (unauthorized) building licence wherever possible and evict the rest,” she said.

Mr. Vinoj alleged that illegal construction of groynes along Munambam had taken its toll on Cherai beach and the demand for geotextile protection of the beach was ignored.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 7:07:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/lack-of-amenities-affecting-tourism-potential-of-cherai-beach/article34298191.ece

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