Kochi, Aug 28: Kerala Tourism has, in partnership with Kochi Corporation and tourism industry stakeholders, formulated a joint action plan for the clean-up and reinvigoration of Fort Kochi. A comprehensive remedial system is expected to be operational in a month’s time.
The department and tourism trade entities will provide support to the Corporation’s lead role in executing the roadmap, which calls for the iconic heritage destination to be cleaned and made waste free before the upcoming tourist season.
The ambitious initiative was proposed at a meeting held on Saturday at Kochi Corporation. Mayor Smt Soumini Jain and Kerala Tourism Director Shri U.V. Jose were in attendance at the gathering, which saw wide participation from a host of concerned bodies.
The Mayor said several tones of discarded coconut shells and styrofoam waste are being collected from coastal areas and beach shores. “It is tough to transport this waste to the junkyard and then segregate it. We are mooting a permanent solution in which the waste will be collected and processed in the area itself without posing any environmental hazards,” she said.
She added that homestay operators and hoteliers in the area are conducting weekly cleaning drives. “Though such laudable clean-up efforts must continue, there have to be systematic, concerted attempts taking place regularly. The Fort Kochi Heritage Conservation Society has engaged 21 workers in the area. We can employ more workers and also provide a lorry exclusively for waste removal,” the Mayor said.
Noting that gaps in funding, equipment and labour requirements would be addressed, Jose said, “The Mayor and members of the standing committee on health have identified waste management as the major hurdle at the spot. The Tourism Department will supplement the Corporation’s frontline efforts with funds besides providing manpower and equipment to resolve the issue.”
Calling for sustained collective action to alleviate the problem, he said, “This matter and other related concerns at Fort Kochi will be sorted out and resolved well before November 1, when the new tourist season officially kicks off.”
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