THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Though the Veli Tourism Village will receive many additional projects by January-end, the authorities have failed to maintain the upkeep of the existing facilities including the floating restaurant, Sangakulam, solar lights, high mask light and fencing.
"There is no proper maintenance of the facilities. The Veli Tourist Village has nothing to attract tourists to the destination. There is no proper boundary wall. Also, the existing fencing is in pathetic condition which makes it easy for stray dogs to enter the tourist village. The plastic waste from the tourist village is also being dumped in the land purchased for the amusement park opposite the Tourist village," said Kiran Kumar M S, a resident near the Veli Tourist Village.
Many of the existing infrastructures were renovated recently including Shangukulam, the children's swimming pool and playground equipment for children. "Ten years ago, the Sangukulam had a lot of fishes. Tourists could enjoy the view on coracle rides. However, with unmanaged hyacinth growth, the rides were stopped. Sangukulam was renovated last year and the hyacinth cleared after spending several lakhs. However, there was no maintenance and the hyacinth has grown back again," said Rajesh D, an auto driver at Veli Tourist Village.
Lack of a sheltered ticket counter is yet another issue at the village. Tourists have to wait in the rain or the heat to purchase the tickets owing to the absence of a sheltered ticket counter. The broken iron rods near the ticket counter also poses a danger," he said. Those who arrive to purchase a parking fee are forced to wait on the road with their vehicles, thus blocking the traffic.
The floating restaurant, a mega project developed at a cost of Rs 88 lakh has been closed for renovation for the past two years. "A high mask light that has kept near the beach two years back is functioning for the past five months. Also, most of the new solar lights inside the tourist village, are not working," said fisherman at Kochu Veli, Shyju V.
Veli Tourist Village deputy director Zachary D Ayyaneth told Express the maintenance works will begin shortly. "We have completed tendering work of the floating restaurant costing Rs 25 lakh floating restaurant. We have received the tender for the removal of hyacinth from Sangakulam. This will begin in a month's time," he said.
The deputy director said the land purchased for the amusement park ten years ago will be used to developed an urban park, eco-park and a convention centre. Other projects including a miniature train and the renovation of the swimming pool is all set to commence by the end of this month at Veli tourist village.