July 9, 2021 5:50:34 pm
The glorious past of Kozhikode will unfold before the visitors at the newly renovated beach here once Kerala lifts the restrictions on tourist destinations. The beautified beach now holds the key to the port city’s rich and eventful history that has remained somewhat concealed till now.
The Kozhikode South Beach, which has undergone a massive facelift, was thrown open by Minister for Tourism and Public Works PA Mohamed Riyas on July 1. These renovations are part of the measures to improve tourism potential in the district.
The beautification project was undertaken by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) and district administration. The makeover starts at the South Beach and ends near Freedom Square. The theme for the renovation intertwines with the cultural heritage of the district including its famed Valiyangadi, Kuttichira, Tali temple etc.
Apart from beautifying the beach, the renovations have paved the way for better seating arrangements, greener pastures and plants. Pictures of literary legends like Vaikom Muhammed Basheer, MT Vasudevan Nair and SK Pottekkat adorn the walls of the beach. The culture and traditions of the district along with its famed delicacies are also beautifully depicted in the form of street art on the walls.
Selfie corners with ‘I love Kozhikode’ and ‘Nammude Kozhikode’ structures are among the major attractions apart from the huge chess board and snake and ladder game board installed here.
In-built wooden waste bins, children’s play area, washrooms and ramps for differently-abled persons, lit-up walkways, surveillance cameras and defined parking spaces are also among the latest renovations here.
Speaking to Indian Express, ports minister and also MLA of Kozhikode South constituency, Ahammad Devarkovil says, “The renovations are taken up by DTPC. Modifying the tourist places in the district is a continuous process and many are underway. Once the Covid pandemic subsides and the beach is open, the public can enjoy a beautiful and calmer beach”. He further says that a tourism corridor connecting the historical places and cultural destinations in the district is on the anvil.
“No decision has been made to introduce any ticket-based entry to the beach or any renovated tourist centres as of now,” Devarkovil adds.
The renovated Butt Road Beach Bliss Park was reopened by minister Riyas on July 5. First opened 10 years ago, this beach had been the hub of miscreants and anti-socials for the past few years as maintenance fell short. However, the modified park now houses an interactive jet fountain, one-of-its-kind in the state. It also has been provided with basic amenities, cafeteria, children’s park, apart from the cycle and skating tracks.
“The Bliss Park was renovated at Rs 2.15 crore – Rs 1.15 cr from DTPC fund and Rs 1 cr from MLA fund. This is maintained by DTPC,” says Beena CP, DTPC Secretary.
“Though funds are essential for the maintenance of the park, the decision on whether to implement a ticket-based entry has not been made. It requires a policy decision,” she adds.
Several other tourism projects are also going on amid the pandemic. One such project which might become a game-changer for Kozhikode is the development of the 5 km long drive-in beach in Thikkodi. Other works include renovations at the historical Beypore beach and the coveted Blue Flag-certified Kappad beach.
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