June 4, 2019
Kochi: Mall culture appears to be on the wane in the port town of Kochi where a number of malls have come up and proposals for more are in the pipeline.
The number of people looking for other locations to kill their time seems to be witnessing a slow yet steady rise.
Only Asia’s largest mall Lulu defeats the trend, continuing to be on the top in wooing people of all ages through its diversified offers.
Lulu management regularly comes out with novel attractions, mainly on the catering front which has turned out to be a crowd-puller.
However, Oberon Mall, Central Mall and Nucleus Mall have not been able to emulate Lulu. Prestige Mall, a new one, is almost ready.
Those tired of visiting malls are now looking for other avenues to find entertainment.
Of late, Subhash Chandra Bose Park, commonly known as Subhash Park in the heart of the city, is growing popular on account of numerous factors.
The park was taken up for modernisation by Kochi corporation a few years back and was thrown open to the public some time back.
It now has musical fountains, music system and food joints that make it inexpensive for those planning to kill time with shoestring budget unlike malls where one would have to shell out large amounts.
The best attraction of Subhash Park is the backwaters and the sailing vessels on it, besides the attractive sunset on the western horizon.
Spread over 11.5 acres, the park got renovated with support from the Corporate Social Responsibility funds of Bharat Petroleum Company Ltd and a private telecom company.
Landscaping, musical walkways, meeting area, new lighting system, gardening and ornamental lighting add charm.
Adjacent to this is Rajendra Maidan where legendary figures such as Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Acharya Kripalani and EMS Namboodiripad made their presence felt.
The place is a platform for organising musical shows during nights. Amateur singers entertain large crowds, especially during weekends and holidays.
Food courts take care of the people’s needs, making it a win-win situation for organisers.
The children’s park, very close to Subhash Park is another attraction. It teaches children about traffic regulations and simultaneously provides them toy cars for ride.
The Marine Drive walkway, recently named after the late APJ Abdul Kalam, is another attraction.
But there are some issues like security. When contacted, corporation councillor TK Ashraf evaded to give a direct reply about improving security measures.
Mayor Soumini Jain and councillor TJ Vinod Kumar were not available for comment.