Fort Kochi losing its old-world charm
Lack of a proper plan to tackle burgeoning waste problem at the beach and rampant construction activities blamed.
KOCHI: For Fort Kochi, one of the most important places on the tourism map of the state, things don’t seem to be going well. As those in the tourism sector point out, the lack of a proper plan to tackle the burgeoning waste problem at the beach and the rampant construction activities are slowly causing this place of historical importance to lose its charm.
Mansoor Naina, an expert in the history of Fort Kochi, said “Just a walk along the beach will show you the pathetic condition of the place. Every grain of sand of Fort Kochi has history embedded in it. However today, there is only waste everywhere. Illegal shacks have taken over the path towards the beach and are contributing to the piling of garbage.”
Those who collect plastic waste have encroached on a large area to dump scraps and are doing scrap business from there, said Mansoor.“What are we trying to showcase before the visitors coming in from the foreign countries?” asks Mansoor.
The poor condition of the famed Chinese nets is another issue. “There was a lot of noise regarding how these nets were going to be repaired. Of course, steps were taken. The authorities procured the wood needed to repair the nets and then dumped them. This has happened twice! After the wood bought earlier rotted, another load was brought in. However, the work on the nets is yet to start,” he said.
K-HATS president Sivadathan M P points to the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities, everyone from the Kochi corporation, District Tourism Promotion Council and others set up to take care of the tourism sites and prospects of the place, for the slow decline of the place. “There will come a day when the heritage structures will give way to modern buildings and that will be the end of tourism at Fort Kochi,” he said.
The new multi-storeyed building of the police department has been constructed inside the Fort Kochi Heritage Zone near the Bishop House. Another example Sivadathan cited was the construction activities being undertaken by the corporation near the Bastian Bungalow.
“The lack of a proper policy to preserve the heritage and historical places is the reason behind this issue. A clear policy preventing the construction of buildings that don’t gel with the architecture of the heritage monuments needs to be drawn up,” he said.