Kochi | Kerala Tourism has, in partnership with Kochi Corporation and tourism industry stakeholders, formulated a joint action plan for clean-up and re-invigoration of Fort Kochi, a major tourist spot in the state.
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, a Kerala Tourism release said here today.
The ambitious initiative was proposed at a meeting held Saturday at Kochi Corporation.
Mayor Soumini Jain and Kerala Tourism Director UV Jose took part in the meeting which saw participation from a host of concerned bodies.
The Mayor said several tonnes of discarded coconut shells and styrofoam waste are being collected from the 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 it will be collected and processed in the area itself without posing any environmental hazards,” she said and added that home-stay operators and hoteliers in the area were conducting weekly clean-up drives.
“Though such laudable clean-up efforts must continue, there has to be systematic, concerted attempts at regular intervals,” the Mayor said .
The Fort Kochi Heritage Conservation Society has engaged 21 workers in the area for the purpose.
“We can employ more workers and provide a lorry exclusively for waste removal,” said Jain.
Noting that gaps in funding, equipment and labour requirements would be addressed, Jose said the Mayor and the members of the standing committee on health had identified waste management as a 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, he added.
Calling for sustained collective action to alleviate the problem, he said, “This matter and other related concerns at Fort Kochi will be sorted out well before November 1 when the new tourist season officially kicks off.”