Puducherry

Pondy Marina leaves tourists asking for facilities

The damaged side wall of the crematorium on the road leading to Pondy Marina in Puducherry.

The damaged side wall of the crematorium on the road leading to Pondy Marina in Puducherry.

Pondy Marina, the theme-based beach near the Light House at Dubrayapet, is slowly emerging as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the town.

The sandy beach stretching to around 2 km has the potential to attract more tourists but regular visitors, especially city residents who throng the leisure spot on weekends, believe that the government should step in to provide safe access to the place and better amenities.

Many complain that the roads, one starting at the Electricity Department office and the other a narrow lane in between Indira Gandhi Sports Complex and Petit Seminaire School at Uppalam, connecting Pondy Marina and town, are unsafe all through the day, not to speak of night hours.

People consuming liquor along the sides of the roads leading to Pondy Marina has become a nuisance when one takes the family along for an evening outing, said Ratheesh Ramachandran, a resident of Reddiyarpalayam.

“I have seen people sitting on either side of the roads leading to the Pondy Marina and drinking even at noon. It is very awkward when they pass lewd comments. Children and women get upset,” he said. Travelling to the beach after evening hours has become a nightmare due to poor lighting, he rued.

According to A. Ashwin, a resident of Thattanchavady, though there are streetlights in the area, they are simply not adequate. “The roads towards Pondy Marina are not properly lit. If you are driving through the stretch with your family in a car, it is fine. Walking or travelling by a bike after sunset is a risky affair,” he said. Puducherry is a tourist destination and the government has to ensure safe spaces for all at newer popular hangouts in the city, he noted.

The weekends get almost crowded with 25,000 to 30,000 people visiting the place. If it is a long weekend or festival time, the beach swells with local and domestic tourists, said a restaurateur.

“Lack of safety is a problem that tourists complain of. Providing safe access to the spot for tourists should be the job of the government. Police patrol teams make routine rounds but that seems not enough to deter people fromindulging inmischiefs. We have been demanding a police outpost with adequate manpower. At present, if some incident occurswe have to wait fora long time forthe police to arrive,” he pointed out.

Djeamourthy, a resident of Ellaipillaichavady, said the upkeep of the crematorium situated at Dubrayapet should also be a priority for the government.

“The sidewalls of the crematorium are broken and children find it uncomfortable to travel along the route,” he said.

Private promoters also want the government to depute trained lifeguards near the jetty. On the eve of the New Year celebrations, two students drowned while swimming.

Lifeguards

“We frantically tried to get lifeguards to save the children but our efforts went in vain,” said a promoter. He also sought setting up of more toilets as the existing facilities are getting inadequate due to the heavy rush.


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 11:02:40 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/pondy-marina-leaves-tourists-asking-for-facilities/article38335827.ece