KOCHI: The future of the open gymnasium at Chathiath Road, the first in the city, which had been launched with much fanfare is hanging in the balance now. Goshree Islands Development Authority (GIDA), which is solely responsible for maintaining the project, is clueless on its maintenance.According to the GIDA officials, no one has entrusted the agency with the task of maintaining the open gymnasium. “ So far, we don’t have any responsibility to maintain the project. Even the land belongs to the corporation and not with the GIDA. As far as I know, no one has entrusted GIDA with the task of maintaining the open gymnasium,” said Jinu Mol Varghese, who was recently appointed Project Director, GIDA.
Queen’s Walkway near the Goshree bridge had become a major draw for Kochiites. After Ernakulam MP, Hibi Eden set up an open gym there during his tenure as MLA, several people started using the facility. However, the gym equipment is almost damaged due to wear and tear. “ We are entrusted only with the task of maintaining the walkways. We have an agreement with the construction companies and they are looking into the maintenance part. The GIDA’s land is only up to the open gymnasium and the rest is with the corporation,” Jinu added.
Earlier Hibi Eden, MP had told TNIE that GIDA is responsible for the maintenance of the open gym. “The issue needs to be addressed at the earliest. GIDA is responsible for the maintenance of the open gym. Since they are getting good revenue by renting out space, it is their responsibility to maintain the facility. I plan to take up the matter with the district collector,” Hibi had said when asked about the maintenance of the project.
Though TNIE contacted District Collector S Suhas, who is the GIDA secretary, he chose to pass the buck to the GIDA officials. According to Hibi Eden, MP, “A meeting with the district collector and GIDA officials will be convened to find a lasting solution to the issue. Effective steps will be taken to restore the city’s pet project to its original glory”. Amid all this, dumping of garbage and stray dog menace pose a headache to commuters and fitness lovers.