CHENNAI: Tourists will soon be able to catch a glimpse of the illuminated rock sculptures in Mamallapuram during evening hours. The district administration has decided to ban entry of all vehicles into West Ratha street where Arjuna’s Penance and Krishna’s butter ball monuments are located. Besides introducing battery cars for visitors, the government has decided to provide lighting at important monuments and increasing visiting hours.
After the two-day summit between PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the UNESCO-notified tourist spot is expected to get more national and international visitors.P Ponniah, Collector, Kancheepuram, told Express that about 154m on West Ratha Street and 10m in Padasalai Street near Arjuna’s Penance will be sealed for vehicle entry. “Visitors will have to access the monuments by foot. Orders to this effect will be issued in a few days.” The district administration is also planning to set up parking zones at three vehicle entry points to make the areas where monuments are ‘pollution free’.
“Land parcels have been identified at three entrance points of Mamallapuram - from Kovalam, Thirukazhukundram road and Beach road sides. We are in talks with private land owners to get a few land parcels leased. Once the parking space is earmarked, vehicles will be stopped at the entrance. From there battery cars will be introduced for shuttling commuters, “ said Ponniah. Locals will be given passes for their vehicles into the town.
Officials from various departments had been engaged to prepare detailed reports to seek funds under suitable schemes.In addition, a proposal to increase visiting hours has also been mooted. “Lighting will be provided at important rock sculptures, including Arjuna’s Penance, Krishna’s butter ball, shore temple and Pancha Rathas. Tangedco requires at least 10 days to complete the wiring works. Accordingly, the visiting hours will be extended,” the official said.At a meeting on Wednesday with street vendors at Mamallapuram, the Collector assured them to provide alternative place at the earliest.