Thiruvananthapuram: The Kovalam beaches, which over the years have lost much of their charm due to poor management, are set to get a massive facelift at a cost of Rs.25 crore, said state Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar here.
Speaking to reporters, Kumar said, "If a destination has to get the desired attention and for sustainable development, the first thing that should happen is that the living condition of those living in and around the destination should improve."
The Oommen Chandy government will kick-start the development projects on Nov 1 with a Rs.10 crore drinking water scheme in the Kovalam locality, besides upgrading the sanitation facility.
"One of the main reasons why Kovalam has lost much of its glamour is the untidy beaches and the poor upkeep of the surrounding areas," Kumar said.
"Those living in and around the destination suffer from serious drinking water shortage and sanitation problem. Hence, it is quite natural it affects the cleanliness of the destination," said Kumar.
The beach destination is around 12 km from the capital city. "We have decided to spruce up roads leading to Kovalam... In six months, we will see that it becomes of the cleanest beach destination in the world," said Kumar.
He said the entire emphasis in the past was on marketing Kerala tourism and due to that focus on the destination was lost.
"With this major makeover of Kovalam, the tourism department will focus on destinations. And with Kovalam already occupying a prime place in many tourist minds, the need of the hour is a clean beach and surroundings, and above all a happy local population," said Kumar.