The pile of garbage that has accumulated along the Ashtamudi lake bank here has long been an eyesore to tourists and pedestrians in the city. A walk along the paved footpath alongside the crescent-shaped Asramam Link Road stretch on the banks of Ashtamudi lake fringed with mangroves could otherwise be a delightful experience, but for the accumulated garbage.
To eliminate this, the District Tourism Promotion Council has now taken up the task of removing the garbage from the area. DTPC has launched the cleaning up programme utilising its cleaning workers and hiring additional staff.
The area is adjacent to the Kollam KSRTC bus stand, the boat jetty and the DTPC office and it is the ‘Gateway of Backwater Tourism’.Tourists, both domestic and foreign, while entering the ‘gateway’ are now confronted with the sight of garbage pile and the unbearable stench emanating from it.
“The services of 24 women cleaning workers of the DTPC, two male workers employed to clean the lake in a country craft and four hired male workers are being utilised to clean up portion of the lake. The cleaning work was carried out on Friday and Saturday and we plan to carry out alternative cleaning work along with the routine works of the cleaning staff,’’ DTPC secretary K Prasad said. A major cleaning work was carried out in the area last October in connection with the President’s Trophy Boat Race. The garbage from even Ayathil area reaches the Asramam creek of the lake through drainage which opens into the lake. Also, for many people the portion of the lake has turned into a garbage dump yard. With no proper mechanism for disposal of garbage due to the Kureepuzha garbage plant remaining closed following protests by local residents, the Corporation authorities have expressed ‘helplessness’ in countering the menace.
Though streets lights were proposed almost a year back, the area still lacks lighting. The lack of proper lighting has only added to the chances of some people throwing garbage in the area. The DTPC move comes in the backdrop of a Rs 55-lakh project which includes constructing dockyard for houseboats and other passenger boats adjacent to the area.
“A yard which can accommodate about 20 boats including houseboats, waiting area and adjacent facilities area is proposed. The area comes opposite to the KSRTC bus stand and is expected to attract visitors to the city,’’ the DTPC secretary said.
The yard will also be a boon to the houseboats currently docked near the slaughter house area, where the situation is even worse. It is expected to fetch the houseboats better business.