Akkulam Children’s Park Almost Ready, but no Clue About Reopening
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Akkulam children’s park, part of Akkulam Tourist Village, will reopen by Vishu, according to DTPC officials. However, they are not ready to put a finger on the date of reopening. One look at the park, and you will know why.
Three years of renovation and the children’s park is still a work in progress. The boundary wall is yet to be built, lights need to be set up in the park and water supply needs to be put in place.
Landscaping has been redesigned. See-saws, slides and merry-go-rounds have been repaired and repainted. New equipment could not be bought because of insufficient funds, according to sources in DTPC.
The officials are positive that the lights, fencing and water supply can be set up in two weeks. However, there is more trouble brewing and the reason may not just be infrastructure.
Last week, lots of posters surfaced all over the facility, alleging that the water which was used to fill the swimming pool was contaminated.
The posters signed by ‘Akkulam Tourist Village Action Council’, without any contact numbers, allege corruption to the tune of Rs 3.5 crore in the renovation project. DTPC officials say that it needn’t be outsiders, and could just have been the temporary workers at the facility who were unhappy with their remuneration.
The cost of renovating the children’s park and pool was Rs 1.3 crore, according to DTPC officials. They say that Rs 2.25 crore was the cost of another project undertaken by Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Limited on the hillock inside the park complex. The project, which involved setting up a cycling and walking track, had hit a roadblock. For, officials of Air Force, stationed next door, had complained that some of its aspects would pose serious threat to their security.
DTPC officials say that the water in the pool was treated with chemicals and the sediments were sucked out. They say that the quality of water has now been tested.
The swimming pool will be a crucial feature in deciding the revenue to be generated at the park. The road to the children’s park is hardly encouraging for the picnickers. However, the pool will offer the services of a swimming instructor appointed by DTPC.
The main crowd-puller - the boat club on the other side of the road - looks like ghost town.
A ride in Akkulam lake is completely out of question, with it being choked by water hyacinths.
There is no restaurant nearby. The infrastructure for an eatout is being developed next to the children’s park counter. But it will take a while for the building to be completely ready and for it to be let out to a caterer.