THIRUVANANTHAPURAM , 24 FEBRUARY 2023:
The Rs 93-crore Kovalam tourism development project, approved by the state cabinet, will facilitate a grand make-over of the iconic global tourist destination that marked Kerala on the world tourism map decades ago, Tourism Minister Mr. P. A. Mohamed Riyas said on Thursday.
Apart from elevating Kerala’s status as a major tourist hub further, the comprehensive project will lead to extensive infrastructure development at Kovalam, close to the state capital, as a world-class beach destination.
“Necessary steps will be taken for the time-bound completion of the project”, he said.
The Cabinet has given approval to the Rs 93 crore scheme by including it in Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) projects. The project envisages renovation of Kovalam along with its adjacent beaches, besides ensuring coastal conservation. It fulfils the demand for a comprehensive development of Kovalam, which has faced the aftermath of Covid-19 and bore the brunt of frequent rough sea conditions.
The tourism minister noted that the development of Kovalam will give an impetus to Kerala Tourism. The Minister said the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan had convened meetings regarding Kovalam development and given necessary directions on how to go about it.
Mr. Riyas recalled his visit to Kovalam beach after assuming the charge of Tourism Minister on 26 May , 2021 and the measures taken to implement renovation works. “A review meeting was held on July 26, 2021 to assess the future development activities in Kovalam, following which the project was conceived,” he said.
The project will be implemented based on a comprehensive design in tune with the new Design Policy to be implemented by the Department of Tourism. The project will be implemented in two phases. The first phase of works includes infrastructure development of Hawa Beach and Light House Beach, renovation of Silent Valley Sunbath Park, development of corporation land, commuting facilities to IB beach, marking of boundaries of IB beach and Adimalathura beach and takeover of the coconut grove land. The extensive development of IB beach and Adimalathura beach and coconut plantation land development will be implemented in the second phase.
The Cabinet has also given permission to appoint WAPCOS as the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to implement the vital project.
Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach with three adjacent crescent beaches. It has been a favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing.
The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse. Sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programmes and catamaran cruising are some of them. The tropical sun acts so fast that one can see the faint blush of coppery tan on the skin in a matter of minutes. Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into the night. The beach complex includes a string of budget cottages, Ayurvedic health resorts, convention facilities, shopping zones, swimming pools, Yoga and Ayurvedic massage centres.
Accommodation facilities for tourists at Kovalam range from five star hotels to budget hotels and the choice of food available at restaurants and cafeterias range from Continental varieties to South Indian delicacies.