Fresh cracks on glass bridge at Akkulam in Thiruvananthapuram raise questions over quality

The bridge, standing at a height of 75 feet, was built for Rs 1.2 crore using private investment.
The cracked panel on the glass bridge at Akkulam Tourist Village
The cracked panel on the glass bridge at Akkulam Tourist Village

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Fresh cracks have appeared on the yet-to-be-opened glass bridge at Akkulam in Thiruvananthapuram, raising questions over its quality and safety. The damage spotted on the viewing deck of the 52-m-long bridge on Tuesday, just a month after one of its panels developed a crack, threatens to shatter Kerala Tourism’s dreams of promoting the state as a global adventure tourism hub.

The cracked panel on the glass bridge at Akkulam Tourist Village
Kerala: Cracks in Akkulam glass bridge spark adventure tourism safety concerns

The bridge, standing at a height of 75 feet, was built for Rs 1.2 crore using private investment. The Vattiyoorkavu Youth Brigade Entrepreneur Cooperative Society (VYBECOS) is responsible for implementing the project. The panels were bought from Saint Gobain, a global glass manufacturing firm. Each panel is three-layered, is 36mm thick and weighs around 1 tonne.

Vattiyoorkavu MLA V K Prasanth, the chief promoter of VYBECOS, told TNIE that safety assessment of the panels is under way by the company that supplied them.

Matter will be taken up with tourism min: MLA

“We have asked the firm to give a report on the safety of the panels. I am not aware of the new cracks. We will look into it,” Prasanth said.

Kazhakkoottam MLA and former tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said the matter will be taken up with Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas. “All adventure tourism infrastructure should be 100% safe. The same should apply to the glass bridge. Without getting safety clearance, it will not be opened to the public. At present, assembly sessions are on and the matter will be discussed with the tourism minister tomorrow (Wednesday),” Kadakampally said.

Last month, crack had appeared on one of the panels, sparking a row. Alleging vandalism, VYBECOS had lodged a complaint with Sreekaryam police. The police, however, ruled out vandalism and sent the cracked panel for forensic analysis. The National Institute of Technology, Calicut, had also inspected the bridge and given safety clearance.

The Sreekaryam police on Tuesday said the forensic wing had submitted its report on the reasons behind the crack that appeared last month in court. “We are yet to get a copy of the report,” the official said.

In a statement two days ago, Riyas had said the government’s focus was on developing world-class infrastructure to “make Kerala the finest destination for thrill-seekers and adventure lovers.” The state had tremendous potential to emerge as a global adventure and eco-tourism hub, he had said.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com