The 2.4 km walkway at Marine Drive in Kochi is a popular spot among walkers and tourists and attracts thousands of footfalls every day. However, the visitors would be in acute agony if they feel the urge to use the washroom. The reason? No such facility is available along the entire stretch of the spot!
The Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA), which maintains the area, has adopted a strangely lethargic attitude towards the problem. Even though the work of three washrooms under the nearby ‘Kettuvallam bridge’ on the walkway was completed a year ago, the authorities are yet to open it to the public.
Demands for public washrooms on Marine Drive have been raised for years. Even when the Marine Drive walkway and surrounding areas were spruced up by Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML), no washroom was built. Following persistent demands, three washrooms were constructed. GCDA chairman Chandran Pillai, soon after taking over the post, had announced that the facility would be opened. The lack of the basic facility is now forcing many visitors to relieve themselves on the parking ground and adjacent spots of Marine Drive, leaving a nauseating smell in the area, apart from creating a health hazard.
The Walkers’ Association of Kochi, an organisation of morning and evening walkers, has been raising the issue with GCDA for several years. But, the authorities have turned a deaf ear to this genuine demand.