Kochi: When World Tourism Day is observed on Thursday, Fort Kochi and Mattan-cherry, the most sought after heritage tourist spots of Kerala are gazing at bleak future due to lack of coordination between various implementing agencies. Though several master plans and development projects were proposed in last couple of years, the areas still lack even the basic facilities.
Several agencies like Tourism Department, Kochi Corporation, Department of Archeology, District Tourism Promotion Council, Fort Kochi Heritage Zone Conservation Society and district administration are involved in tourism development and maintenance of the heritage monuments.
The Fort Kochi Heritage Zone Conservation Society, nominated by state government to coordinate the conservation and management of heritage sites has been inactive for last few years.
“Many projects proposed for Fort Kochi tourism development are still in conceptual stage. The district heritage museum being set up at the Bastion Bungalow has not been completed. Important heritage monuments like Dutch cemetery, jail, Mattancherry court complex, bazaar and Fort Kochi beach are facing ruin due to lack of proper maintenance,” said M.P Sivada-than, member of the Conse-rvation Society and director of Kerala State Home-stay and Tourism Associa-tion.
“City Corporation is paying least attention towards heritage conservation nor-ms. It is permitting modification to existing buildings and also allowing new structures violating heritage norms,” alleged K.J Sohan, former Mayor and member of Fort Kochi Heritage Zone Conservat-ion Society.
Many of the long distance KSRTC buses from Fort Kochi to other tourism spots have been cancelled. The e-toilets at Fort Kochi children’s park are defunct for long. Due to non-maintenance and lack of infrastructure facilities, Most tourists wind up the visit in single day.
“A memorandum has been submitted to tourism minister, tourism director and secretary urging to ensure proper coordination of various agencies and people’s representatives involved in tourism projects in Fort Kochi,” added Sivadathan....