DTPC plans amphitheatre, sports turf at Durbar Hall ground in Kochi

The DTPC is also planning to build a sports turf to encourage outdoor games among children.
Children doing exercise in a football turf in Kochi.
Children doing exercise in a football turf in Kochi.(Photo | Express)

KOCHI: It’s pouring in Kochi. The children are bored as they are forced to stay indoors on weekends. And even if it isn’t raining, parents are stumped as to where to take their children as the city has hardly any entertainment destinations suited for kids.

This is set to change soon. A host of projects, aimed at boosting child-friendly infrastructure, are set to come up in the city once monsoon ends.

Top on the list is an amphitheatre planned by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) at Durbar Hall Ground, a popular family hangout. “The amphitheatre will screen informative, interesting documentaries and short films for children. Theatrical performances can also be staged there. The amphitheatre will give children an outdoor feel, thanks to its curved and open seating arrangement,” said Ernakulam DTPC secretary Satheesh Miranda.

The DTPC is also planning to build a sports turf to encourage outdoor games among children. “It will be built near the amphitheatre. The plan is to rent them on hourly basis. We’ll either appoint an external agency or manage the facility ourselves,” the official said.

Sprucing up of infrastructure at Ernakulam Indira Priyadarshini Children’s Park, another popular destination drawing children during weekends and holidays, is on the cards too. “The musical fountain, a prime attraction, has been defunct for years and turned into a waste dumping spot. We have awarded its work to an agency. It will be completed in one-and-a-half months,” Satheesh said.

A pair of cable trains that had been a huge hit among children but are now lying in disuse will also be recommissioned by Onam.

“A 110-m-long underground cable that supplied power to the trains, got damaged at some point. Though we dug up 40m of the stretch, we could not pinpoint the fault. The PWD is now laying a new cable,” said a top official of the District Council for Child Welfare that owns the park. The DTPC also maintains a pond at the park, where boating is offered. “All the facilities will be opened by Onam,” said Satheesh.

Uncovered ditch causes inconvenience

A long, narrow ditch that was dug across the stone walkway at Durbar Hall Ground to repair the underground cables has been left uncovered even two weeks after the work got over, causing inconvenience to visitors coming to the ground. “When it rains, slush comes out of the ditch and spreads in the area. Anyone’s foot may slip inside if they are not careful,” said a visitor. The ditch was dug to repair the cables as part of the ongoing renovation works being carried out by Cochin Smart Mission Ltd (CSML) for DTPC. A DTPC official said the rain has hampered several works, including that of the renovation of the stage, light-posts and toilet complexes. The authorities concerned are also yet to carry out the annual exercise of pruning tree branches. “A visitor had a lucky escape after a branch fell in the heavy rain recently. Several branches are dangling dangerously,” said a security personnel.

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