Kerala

Tourism infrastructure at Fort Kochi in shambles

Shacks and other encroachments in Fort Kochi are an eyesores in the heritage zone, and also block the view of the beach.  

Shacks and other encroachments in Fort Kochi are an eyesores in the heritage zone, and also block the view of the beach.   | Photo Credit: JOHN L. PAUL

The Fort Kochi heritage zone has turned a picture of neglect, with most of the tourism infrastructure either encroached upon or in shambles.

This is despite the fact that the locale has been teeming with visitors during the past couple of weeks. The neglect shown to restoring the Chinese fishing nets has further added to the mismanagement of the heritage locale. Neither Kerala Tourism that allotted ₹1.5 crore many years ago to restore the nets to their past glory nor KITCO that was entrusted with the execution of the work has been able to kick-start the process, inviting the wrath of fishermen manning the nets.

Kerala Tourism has also not begun work to rebuild parts of the walkway along the beach lost to the raging sea.

Heritage enthusiasts said tourism, revenue and enforcement agencies have been doing little to check crass commercialisation and encroachments on open spaces and the beach front, despite concerns raised by NGOs, residents’ associations and the Fort Kochi Heritage Conservation Society.

The situation is such that even roads, footpaths and open spaces that were recently renovated by Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) have been encroached upon or are being used as parking lots. The 10-metre-wide footpath beside the Fort Kochi police station has been fully occupied by operators of food kiosks, forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.

Tourism officials expressed helplessness unless Revenue and Police departments and the Kochi Corporation undertook a concerted drive to remove encroachers and to streamline parking.


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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 12:03:11 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tourism-infrastructure-at-fort-kochi-in-shambles/article65769787.ece