A Rs.250 million amusement park promoted by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) as an Onam gift to Kerala has been delayed and will now open only in February.
The project, billed as a first in the cooperative sector, is coming up near the Parassinikadavu temple on the outskirts of this city.
Being built in the traditional north Kerala style, the park will have an artificial lake spread over two acres of land that would help in rainwater harvesting. It will also double up as an educational park with a museum and an art gallery.
"The delay occurred because heavy monsoon rains resulted in work being disrupted for two months," said Kannur CPI-M secretary M.V. Govindan, who was the secretary of Malabar Tourism Cooperative Society when the decision was taken to build the amusement park.
Govindan stepped down from the post after becoming the district secretary of CPI-M this year but continues to be the society's de-facto chief, overseeing work on the park.
The society has 500 members, all of whom believed to be hardcore CPI-M supporters.
"We have no problem of funds because we have raised these from various banks. We have now decided to enlist new members. By the time we are ready to open, we would have a membership of more than 10,000 people, each of whom will have paid a fee of Rs.500," said Govindan.
Govindan denied the delay was caused by a controversy that erupted after locals opposed the razing of some hillocks, saying this would cause environmental problems.
"We are happy to have got a lot of free publicity on account of the baseless allegations levelled by vested interests. It has come as a blessing in disguise since we got lot of enquires (for membership) because of this," Govindan said.
He said the society had now embarked on a membership drive by offering a package to all those who become members.
"We are planning to make the package attractive by offering free admission to the park, maybe once a year, for the families of members," said Govindan.
The park would add to the increasing asset base of the CPI-M, which already has considerable stakes in the Kairali TV channel and also owns a few hospitals, a study centre and a number of buildings across the state.
Source : IANS