Fort Kochi: The famed ‘cheenavala’ (Chinese fishing net) on the beaches of Fort Kochi will soon get a facelift. The inauguration of the renovation works of the Chinese fishing nets was done by Kerala tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran at the Folklore Theatre here. The traditional allure of the fishing nets would be retained during their improvement works.
About eight Chinese fishes in the Fort Kochi heritage area are being renovated. The project is headed by KITCO and the maintenance works will be carried out by the Chinese Fishing Net Owners Association.
Though the tourism department had allotted Rs 1.50 crore for the maintenance work back in 2014, the project didn’t take off. One of the main reasons for the delay was the unavailability of teak wood. The 9-m long teak wood logs needed for the fishing nets were found in the forests owned by the forest department after much exploration.
The logs would be marked and cut down only after the rains subside. This would take at least two months. Another one month is required for the logs to get dried. It is, however, hoped that the renovation would be completed by December this year.
In the beginning , the wooden beam called kalsanthi would be replaced using locally sourced ironwood. Kalsanthi is affixed in the grooves of the fishing net.