Vanchikulam to be converted as an eco-friendly park

Vanchikulam freshwater lake was once a busy waterway connecting Thrissur and Kochi. However, the waterway lost all its prominence with the arrival of Shoranur-Kochi rail line and NH47, and soon turned out into a waste dumping yard. Now, Thrissur Corporation and Tourism Department has made plans to restore the waterway and convert it into a tourism hub. The inauguration of first phase works was done recently by Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran. The construction works will be headed by the Kerala State Nirmithi Kendra.

The plan is to revive Vanchikulam as an eco-friendly park with solar lighting system. A walkway, cycle track, garden and boating facility will be part of the park. Historical documents and art forms will be exhibited at the park. A steel bridge will be installed across the canal. The work is expected to take a year. A budget of Rs 6 crore has been allotted for first phase works. The Tourism Department will spend Rs 3 crore, Corporation Rs 2 crore and Amritham project will provide Rs 1 crore. The work is expected to be completed by one year.

There are also demands to restore the waterway by including the project in National Inland Waterway Development plan. Vanchikulam was the prime trade hub during the rule of Sakthan Thampuran. The waterway used to be centre of many warehouses, and goods and stuffs were transported to different parts of the State and nearby ports.