A rift has developed between the City Corporation and the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) over the latter’s plan to create a spacious parking lot at Tsunami Rehabilitation Park in Shangumugham.
The Corporation’s Works Standing Committee chairman V S Padmakumar has accused the DTPC of causing a huge financial loss by ‘demolishing’ the park inaugurated in December 2010 by the then Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
“DTPC has not taken permission from the Corporation for creating a parking lot in the park. For the past two years, it has been providing the area for commercial purposes without paying the entertainment tax to the civic body,” said Padmakumar.
Meanwhile, DTPC explained that the parking area is planned in the Tsunami Park as part of the master plan for Shangumugham and only some minor works were carried out.
DTPC also finds the parking area as a source of income for the maintenance of the park . “DTPC has to provide salary for 24 workers engaged in cleaning the area. The maintenance of the lamps is done by us and we also pay the electricity bills. But we are not getting that much revenue from the place. So, when the parking area comes, along with providing a facility for the public, it will generate income,” said O T Prakash, DTPC secretary. He also said that the park turns a haven for antisocial elements at night.
The Rs 4.2-crore master plan for the overall development of Shangumugham, which includes laying of walkways, renovation of the Arattukulam pond and stone ‘mandapam’, landscaping and opening of food courts, is already lagging. Though vehicle parking facility is provided by the City Corporation at the beach spot, it is usually not sufficient to accommodate all vehicles during evenings.
Meanwhile, local people alleged that the whole uproar was over both the City Corporation and the DTPC opening their own parking lots in the same area.