Tourism potential left untapped

Fort Kochi, a melting pot seeped in history, faces severe potable water crises, poor waste management and infrastructure facilities.

Published: 16th July 2013 11:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th July 2013 11:41 AM   |  A+A-

If the civic authorities and governmental departments work in a more coordinated, sensitive and creative fashion, Fort Kochi can be developed into a major tourist destination, say experts. Paulose Mathew, president, Kerala Chapter of Travel Agents Federation, said, "Fort Kochi is a classic case that testifies how a major heritage site is being systematically neglected by the civic authorities.”

“Fort Kochi is a melting pot. Tourist operations and any development work should be launched in such a way that they do not affect the traditional geography of the terrain and the existing structures should be properly maintained. The tourists who visit heritage sites are very particular about cleanliness. The beach in Fort Kochi stinks. Coordinated efforts of departments such as tourism, police, health and revenue can create wonders,” he said.

V J Hycinth, former Corporation councillor, pointed out that the civic body has consistently failed in developing the tourism potential of the historic city. “The gradual disappearance of Chinese fishing nets is an example,” he said. Traditional fish workers using Chinese fishing nets face a severe livelihood crisis and are reportedly leaving the job.

Raju P Nair, former general secretary, Tour Operators Association, said that most of the hotels in the city are expensive. “Providing medium budget accommodation is a strategic step. Properly monitored homestays can fill the gap,” he said.


The worst problems faced by Fort Kochiites are drinking water shortage and lack of proper, scientifically-managed waste management. Most of the projects initiated by the government departments and local bodies allegedly fail to address the perennial crisis. “Many medical reports have established that water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea and typhoid are a major threat to  people which can lead to a crisis,” said K M Ashraff, a public health activist and leader of Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishath which conducts health surveys.

“With age-old pipes corroding and leaking, sewage water too flows into them. Unscientific waste management is another issue which allows mosquitoes to breed,” he said.

 It was pointed out that water woes can be addressed if the two water tanks in Fort Kochi start functioning. “Large sums were spent on the huge tanks near Parade Ground and Cochin College. But the authorities have failed to create a proper pumping mechanism,” said a resident.

Dominic Presentation MLA said that he has personally initiated several steps to address the water crisis. “But the inherent procedural delay is a major hurdle. The Water Authority should get mandatory permission from the finance board to implement projects above `50 lakh resulting in delay,” said the MLA. T K Ashraff, Health Standing Committee chairman, Kochi Corporation, said the  Corporation is serious about drinking water supply and waste management.

“Two loads of waste are carried to the Brahmapuram plant daily. Besides the Corporation cleaning staff, we have also employed 25 workers on contract basis in association with the Heritage Conservation Committee. A couple of drinking water projects will be executed at the earliest,” he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Kochi news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp