Renovated Marine Drive stretch to be opened soon

Renovation work of the Marine Drive walkway’s northern side is in its final leg.   | Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

With 50% of work to renovate the 2.4-km-long Marine Drive walkway over, efforts are under way to commission the stretch at the northern end from Kettuvallom Bridge to the area that abuts the first Goshree Bridge in December.

The southern portion of the backwater-facing walkway will be ready for commissioning by March 2021, official sources said. Although owned by GCDA, the walkway is being renovated at a cost of ₹7.85 crore by the Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) as part of efforts to improve pedestrian zones and open spaces in Kochi.

Almost the entire portion on the northern side (the new walkway which was commissioned in 2012) had to be renovated since tiles had been improperly laid and water sprang up when people walked over them. Subsequently, the tiles had to be removed and the entire process redone. Drains have been built and the walkway levelled. Installation of tree guards is almost over, while work on laying tiles will begin in a week, sources said.

Aimed at making the walkway disabled-friendly, tactile tiles (to guide visually-challenged people) will be laid on the entire length.

Adequate number of lights, garbage bins and a few pay and use toilets within container spaces too will be readied. This will be apart from CCTVs that will be installed on the entire waterfront to deter drug peddlers and other anti-social elements, they said.

The project includes a scheme to ensure operation and upkeep of the 2.4-km stretch for a year.

Slack maintenance had caused considerable damage to a kiosk beneath the Kettuvallom Bridge, which thus became a den for criminal elements. There were also complaints that the agency which had been entrusted with the upkeep of the walkway on the southern side was not maintaining it, although it got revenue from advertisements placed there.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 7:52:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/renovated-marine-drive-stretch-to-be-opened-soon/article33172849.ece

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