Shanghumukham beach in Thiruvananthapuram slated to get facelift soon

Key priority is to strengthen the roads so as to make them compatible with rough weather.
The portion of Shanghumukham beach in Thiruvananthapuram that was eaten away by rough seas, following heavy rain and wind a few days ago | BP Deepu
The portion of Shanghumukham beach in Thiruvananthapuram that was eaten away by rough seas, following heavy rain and wind a few days ago | BP Deepu

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Shanghumukham, one of the major beach tourist destinations in the capital city, will get a makeover soon with the Tourism Department undertaking a comprehensive project to renovate, beautify and strengthen its infrastructure. 

Rough seas, over several months, that battered the beach have significantly damaged a major portion of the beach, walkway and the road leading to the domestic terminal. A major portion of the main road and walkway has caved in, restricting traffic. The safety concerns had also forced the authorities to prohibit beach entry.

Tourism Director, P Bala Kiran, told Express that the government had sanctioned Rs 15 crore for the project recently and the renovation works had begun. “Being a major tourism spot, Shanghumukham needs a major face-lift. It is in bad shape now. So efforts are on to revamp the entire area including Tsunami park, Chacha Nehru park and Indian Coffee House.

Earlier, these places were developed in three phases. But now, we need to develop in a single phase. We will develop the area in order to be compatible with rough weather conditions and strengthen the present structures. However, we can’t make arrangements to prevent sea erosion as it is the job of Harbour Engineering or Ports Department,” Bala Kiran said. 

The key priorities of the plan are to strengthen the walkway, roads and the structures so that it does not get damaged due to high tides or rough weather. Since Shanghumukham is the only beach near the city, the Tourism Department has accorded the project highest priority.  According to DTPC, they would carry out a study on means to make the area withstand rough weather conditions and incorporate in the proposed project. Apart from restoring the walkways and roads, the beach would also see a complete face-lift in terms of illumination and entertainment.

Last year, the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) had promised a comprehensive plan to renovate Shanghumukham for unhindered tourists flow. However, nothing worthwhile had materialised. 
Harbour Engg Dept to construct protective walls. Meanwhile, the Harbour Engineering Department has now been entrusted to construct protective walls on the beach to prevent sea erosion.

An official with the Department said that discussions were on with various stakeholders to revive the beach to its former state with enough safety arrangements and facilities of international standards. “If all goes well, we will construct protective walls to prevent sea erosion at Shanghumukham beach in the future. The preliminary discussions are on,” a top officer from the department said. 

More lifeguards soon

The district administration, meanwhile, is also likely to add more lifeguards on the beach to cater to the increasing number of tourists. Apart from that, the Tourism Department will begin a host of works, like installing more security cameras, erecting solar lights, beautifying pavements and developing infrastructure, to make the dest Rs 5 crore here to attract more people to the beach. 

The 900-metre road that runs almost parallel to the beach, from the beach junction to near the South Palace, is vehicle free. A paved footpath had also been set up on either side of the road and given a cement concrete block topping. The adjacent indoor recreation centre, another landmark on the beach, will be also given a face-lift. 

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