Kovalam to undergo makeover before tourist influx

Security, safety headline agenda at joint action meeting between Kerala Tourism and local bodies


Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 26: Kovalam, the crown jewel of Kerala’s destination portfolio with its pristine crescent-shaped beaches, palm-lined coves, and rock promontories, is set to become safer and more secure than ever before ahead of the high-volume tourist season.

 

In a novel initiative, overall charge of the coastal hotspot’s security – hitherto split into separate jurisdictions between a number of government bodies – will be consolidated in the hands of a ‘Destination Manager’. The position will become the designated authority to handle matters of day-to-day operational security.

 

Furthermore, the entire resort area will be blanketed 24x7 by a security system that incorporates a CCTV surveillance network. As well, discrete fencing would be put up around popular viewpoints such as the Edakkal rocks to ensure tourist safety without becoming an eyesore.

 

The improved security is but one aspect of a planned facelift for the destination that put ‘God’s Own Country’ on the world tourist map.

 

A short-term roadmap was laid out by Kerala Tourism at a joint action meeting here on Thursday that brought together some 40 representatives from a number of government departments as also tourism and trade industry stakeholders and emphasised the need for collective action to find permanent solutions to the site’s problems. 

 

The gathering was attended by Kovalam MLA Shri M. Vincent and Shri U.V. Jose, Director, Kerala Tourism. Among the other issues discussed were infrastructural concerns such as the supply of potable water, waste management, adequate vehicle parking facilities and public safety measures besides updates on the status of renovation works.

 

“The meeting was convened to both assure involved parties of resolute support at all levels to help preserve Kovalam and to ensure that all corrective measures currently being implemented are completed well before the first week of November, when the tourist season officially kicks off,” Jose said.

 

Noting that preserving Kovalam’s natural beauty would require shared commitment, he added that joint efforts such as the undertaking between the Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHRA) and the Kovalam Protection Council to help guarantee proper lighting and the maintenance of such throughout the resort were steps in the right direction. 

 

“The KHRA and the Kovalam Protection Council are also working together to check further dumping of waste,” Jose said. The action plan called for finding a permanent solution to the problem of garbage disposal.

 

Alleviating the drinking water shortage is also high on the agenda with the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) expected to pump water from its Vellayani treatment plant. As well, the Public Works Department (PWD) undertaking to lay distribution pipelines to supply Kovalam is said to be on schedule.

 

Besides the KWA, PWD, KHRA and the Kovalam Protection Council, the meeting saw representation from the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, the District Tourism Promotion Council and the Kerala State Coastal Area Development Corporation, among others.

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