St Mary’s Island opens for tourists

11:16 AM, Monday, September 17th, 2018

malpeUdupi: Boat services to St Mary’s Island which is situated about 6.5 km from Malpe beach began on Sunday. The boat services were prohibited for three months during the monsoon by the district administration.

The island is full of hexagonal linear columns stacked together. Millions of years ago the molten lava of basaltic rock overflowed and the rapid cooling resulted in unique polygonal shapes of vertical columns at the island.

A total of seven boats ferry the tourists to the island. Three boats leave from Tegma jetty and four from the tourist jetty located near the Malpe Sea Walkway, said Malpe Beach Executive Officer Sudesh Shetty.He said that all the weeds growing on the island has been cleared and the toilets have been cleaned. The island will wear a new look in the next 10 days.

The capacity of each boat is 143 people plus seven crew members. The ticket price per adult is Rs 250, while it is Rs 150 per child. The boats also have lifejackets. The service will be available till the end of May.He said from 2015-17, a total of 300 tonnes of garbage has been collected and disposed of the St Mary’s Island.

There are five personnel deployed to collect the garbage on the island. Food stalls have also been opened.

The Udupi district administration also plans to start constructing a floating jetty at St Mary’s Island. The floating jetty will help the tourists to alight and board the boats. At present, the tourists have to go in a big boat near the island and then shift to a small boat to reach the island.

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