KOCHI: The amicus curiae appointed by the Kerala High Court to study the upkeep of the Marine Drive walkway has said in his report that though funds and sufficient manpower were allocated for the maintenance of the walkway, it was not done properly.
“It is pathetic and shameful that a tourist destination of such great fame is poorly maintained by the agencies concerned,” stated the report.Officials of the GCDA and Kochi corporation stated that no major maintenance was being taken up as of now as the Central government under the Cochin Smart City Mission projects was to allocate Rs 7 crore for giving the Marine Drive a facelift.
Benches in disrepair
The benches provided in the old walkway area are damaged and not properly maintained.
Bushes and overgrowth of shrubs are seen in many areas.
No sufficient lights
In the old walkway area, lights provided do not have sufficient wattage to light up the area adequately. Besides, 100 ornamental lights installed along the new walkway are not functioning.
Lack of toilet facilities
Only one toilet has been provided for the entire stretch of 2.5km of the walkway. The toilet has been constructed beneath the houseboat bridge and entering the toilet itself is a difficult task. The condition of the toilet is pathetic that makes it unusable. The toilet is filled with garbage which makes it a breeding place for mosquitoes.
Smoke from incinerators
A residential apartment complex near the houseboat bridge in the new walkway area has installed an incinerator just a few metres from the walkway. The smoke from the incinerators pollutes the area.
Laying of tiles was improper
The laying of tiles was done in an unscientific way without conducting a study of the area which resulted in popping up of the tiles, making it dangerous for pedestrians in the area. The tiles laid in many areas of the new walkway were damaged and repair work needs to be done. The drainage of the old walkway area is blocked with dirt and mud making it impossible for the water to drain out.
Dumping of waste
The waste from the residential apartments and other commercial establishments was dumped on the side of a private building in the old walkway area causing a severe foul smell and it becomes unbearable to pass through the area. The GCDA and corporation authorities blame the Port Trust authorities for not cleaning the waste in the lake.