THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The banks of the tranquil river Karamana at Azhankal in the heart of the city will soon be transformed into a major tourist attraction. To make the picturesque locale -- already frequented by visitors -- more attractive to tourists and youngsters, the irrigation department has proposed the construction of two hanging bridges, cantilever fishing decks, and boating infrastructure along the 1.5km walkway on the riverbank.
The department, in association with Smart City Thiruvananthapuram, is executing projects worth Rs 15 crore to scale up infrastructure and tap the immense potential of the spot. According to official sources, the project will be completed within three months.
“We expect to open the renovated space to the public by April,” an official told TNIE. A cycling/jogging track, extension of the walkway up to Karumam-Thiruvallam, open gymnasium, children’s park, solar lighting, radio parks at multiple locations, amenity centre with cafeteria, toilet and mini hall, improved bathing ghats, wifi zone with virtual display boards, and a butterfly park are some of the other facilities being set up at the site.
Currently, around 400 people use the walkway at Azhankal. “The location has immense potential to become a tourist destination. The lack of amenities is a major handicap, and there is no proper lighting in the area to facilitate visitors after dusk. All these issues will be fixed once the project is completed,” the official said.
The department has already invited tenders to construct a hanging bridge – expected to cost around Rs 1.3 crore – between the walkway on the left bank and the biopark located on the right bank of the Karamana. “One of the hanging bridges will be constructed soon, at the same location where a temporary bridge was installed during the Attukal temple festival,” said the official.
The second hanging bridge is proposed from the fourth bathing ghat on the left bank to the Thaliyal Temple Kadavu on the opposite bank. The proposed fishing deck will add to the enthusiasm among the local people as the riverbank is a popular spot for fishing.
“The special deck will provide a relaxed and safe environment for fishing. In addition to that, boating can be introduced downstream. There is a bathing ghat that can be converted into a boat-landing platform and boating can be carried out safely in the stretch upstream of the check dam at Kalady. The District Tourism Promotion Council can take over the operations of these activities,” the official added.