ALUVA: Ernakulam district is famous for its beaches, mainly Cherai, Fort Kochi and Vypeen. However, the flood that destroyed nearly everything in its wake has gifted the district something special. A beach along the Periyar River. Kochu Mohammed, the ferryman, at Sreebhoothapuram near Aluva, is a happy man today. “The flood threw up the beach overnight. Today, it has turned into a tourist spot. People from all over the district are coming here,” he told Express.
The young and the old here are thrilled to have a beach of their own. “We have even set up a few concrete benches. Visitors can come, sit down and enjoy the sunset,” said Farid, a local. According to him, the water level of the river fell sharply after the flood. “The water reached the bottom of the pump house. Today it laps at the bottom of the pillars on which the pump house is built. We don’t know whether this is a good or a bad sign. We are just living in the moment and enjoying our own beach,” he said. The number of visitors increases towards the evening, said Kochu Mohammed.
“Usually, after 4 pm, the visitors start pouring in. Their numbers go up to more than a 100,” he said.
The beach wears a festive look once the sun starts dipping, said Hamid, a local. “Many traders like those selling payasam and ice cream have set up shop here and are doing brisk business. Kids come here to fly kites and make sand castles,” said Mohammed while trying to keep the balance of the ferry boat powered by a Yamaha motor.
“The beach has turned into a beehive of activities. The ferry crossing is also an added entertainment. I make more than 30 crossings after 4 pm,” he said. However, according to the locals, the beach doesn’t look stable. “The sand shifts when pressure is applied on it. This might be a temporary phenomenon and may disappear in the next monsoon season,” said Hamid.