Prospects brighten for building ferry jetty on St. Mary’s Island

A view of the picturesque St. Mary’s Island near Udupi.

A view of the picturesque St. Mary’s Island near Udupi.  

State govt. sanctions ₹ 3 crore of which ₹ 1.5 crore will be released this fiscal

With the State government sanctioning an amount of ₹ 3 crore, prospects have brightened for the construction of a ferry jetty on the St. Mary's Island, a popular tourist spot, off Malpe Coast near Udupi, meeting a long-pending demand.

The amount for the construction of the jetty has been sanctioned as per the recommendations made by the Karnataka Tourism Vision Group.

Of this ₹ 3 crore, a sum of ₹ 1.5 crore would be released in this fiscal. This project would be executed either by Karnataka Tourism Infrastructure Limited (KTIL) or the Public Works Department (PWD).

The 300-metre-long and 100-metre-wide palm-fringed St. Mary’s Island is known for its unique basalt rock formation. The island is open for visitors from September to May barring the days when the sea is rough. The number of tourists visiting this island ranges from about 500 a day to about 2,500 a day during holidays, including Dasara and Christmas vacations.

Boat service is available from the Tourist Jetty at Malpe to the island, and it is a 30-minute ride. Three boats with a seating capacity of 150 each ferry passengers from Malpe to the island.

But there is no jetty on the island. Hence, when the boat is nearing the island, tourists are transferred into a small boat which then takes them close to the beach on the island. Then, tourists have to get into the water and walk to the island.

This process is repeated when tourists head back to Malpe after their tour of the island.

“This is especially difficult for senior citizens, women and children,” Ganesh Amin, proprietor of the three boats, told The Hindu.

Besides, there are a few boulders in the sea near the island and the big boats have to be navigated with care.

“With nearly four decades of experience of navigating in the sea, our staff members manage to ferry the boat. But a jetty on the island will not just solve the inconvenience of the passengers but will also ensure safe landing of boats,” he said.

“We will be able to attract more tourists to the island after the jetty is constructed as the landing of boats will become safe,” said Assistant Director of Tourism Chandrashekhar Naik.

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Printable version | Mar 27, 2020 4:20:52 PM |

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