Employees, local business affected as Wonderla park remains closed
Ernakulam: It has been six months since one of the major amusement parks, Wonderla, located at Pallikkara stopped functioning. An average of 3000 people used to visit this amusement park daily.
The entrance of the amusement which was once packed with vehicles is now empty. The closing down of the park has also affected the business of Pallikkara region badly. General Manager of the amusement park, MA Ravikumar, said that more than 700 people were employed in the park directly or on a contract basis.
Only a handful of employees, including cleaning workers, are working here currently. The others are forced to stay at home without any work. There is no clarity over when the amusement park can be reopened again as the number of COVID cases in the state is on the rise.
Kunnathunadu panchayat suffered a loss of several lakhs in entertainment tax after Wonderla stopped functioning. This has affected the developmental activities of the panchayat. All the shops between Kakkand to the entrance of the park have been shut down owing to this. This includes hotels, local eateries, shops selling garments used in water among others.
Hotel owner and Kayamkulam native Abdul Asees said that they are undergoing severe financial crisis after they closed the hotel. He has been running the hotel near the park for the past 12 years. His employees have become unemployed and he is yet to pay the rent for the hotel building.
Meanwhile, around 30 auto-rickshaws, taxis and minivans have also run out of work. Taxi driver Shaji said that all the vehicles have left the stand. Shaji has become a wayside vendor during the pandemic to take care of his family.