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Buggies to run on Puthuvypeen
beach sands of Cochin
To tap the tourism potential of Puthuvypeen beach, District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) is all set to introduce beach buggies there. The beach buggies, which are four-wheeled motorcycles for sand rides, are already operating at the Cherai beach and will be shifted to the Puthuvypeen beach. The authorities are hoping it to attract more tourists.

DTPC is also planning for additional four buggies apart from those to be brought from the Cherai beach. The tourists can rent the bikes and cruise through the sands of the beach. At present, DTPC has leased out the project to ‘Beach Route,’ a private firm.

Beach Route manager V K Suresh said that they were operating a 200 cc bike for grown-ups and a 50 cc bike one for children. "The beach buggies are popular among the tourists at the Cherai beach. However, due to dense sand and high water level at Cherai, the buggies had to be pulled out for maintenance quite often," he said.

"Running the beach buggies in water will damage the engine. One of the bikes got damaged when a rider strayed into sea water. Then we approached DTPC and got the sanction to shift the buggies to Puthuvypeen beach," Suresh said.

He added that ‘Beach Routes’ were planning to import four more buggies from Taiwan. "Four more buggies will be introduced from next month. We have made an order for the buggies with an agency in Mumbai. Each buggy costs around `2.25 lakh. Since there are no agencies for buggies in Kerala, in case of technical snags, we have to call mechanics from Mumbai," he said. The buggies will be charged according to the usage time of a tourist. "We charge `800 for one hour for the adults and `500 for kids. The charges are high because the buggies have very low mileage, almost 15 to 20 kilometre per litre of petrol. But if the demand increases, we will lower the rate, he said.

According to T N Jayashankar, DTPC secretary, the project in Cherai was first of its kind in Kerala. "Demand for adventure tourism is very high in our state and DTPC is planning more such tourism projects in the district,& he said.

Source: Express News Service, Jan 12, 2012