1Crore ₹ Floating Bridge in Malpe: visitor info - eNidhi India Travel Blog

1Crore ₹ Floating Bridge in Malpe: visitor info

Malpe had a new attraction this year- a floating bridge on which we could stand, walk deep into the Arabian sea, be moved up and down by the waves under the bridge, have some fun and come back. This was launched during May 2022 at the cost of 80 lakhs. But this floating bridge collapsed in just 2 days, unable to withstand fierce winds and strong waves after which the bridge was dismantled. [news]. Add to recent repair cost, total can be pegged at INR 1 crore.

6 months later, the pontoon block bridge has been re-assembled, with stronger reinforcements to hold it in place and with experts consulted to confirm that floating bridge is safe. While the bridge was ready in December, official inauguration was delayed and due to pending safety assessment and monitoring by experts, public entry to Malpe’s floating bridge was further delayed. Now by end of 2022 Malpe’s latest attraction is open to public again.

What is so unique about the floating bridge?

Floating bridge is NOT fixed to ground using pillars. Thus as waves come in, bridge flexes up and down, slightly throwing visitors off balance and giving a sense of adventure. Stronger the waves, more the fun. Other options like walking on a sea walk won’t give this experience. Boat ride does give some of this experience of moving with the waves

Floating Bridge in Malpe: Basic visitor information

  • Timing: 8 AM to 6 PM
  • Fee: 150 INR per person
  • How long? 120 meters in length, 3 to 4 meters in width (Malpe seawalk is 1 km)
  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Max capacity: 100 people at a time
  • Location: Near Gandhi statue, at the entrance of Malpe beach area
  • Parking: Available
  • Nearby: Malpe Seawalk, Boat to St Mary’s island, Delta point, beach activities like banana boat ride, jetski, zorbing etc

Things to remember while visiting Malpe Floating Bridge

  • Wear footwear that gives you good grip. Do not wear slippers or high heels etc as you may find it difficult to balance on slippery floats
  • Not suited for small kids unless you are ready to hold their hand 100% of the time
  • Fun is at max when waves are strong. Not much fun if waves are flat, low key and don’t cause much sway in the bridge. High tide, strong winds etc are good time to visit but such moments are bit hard to predict. Best season is monsoon- June to September but during that time there is a chance that authorities may close the floating bridge fearing safety concerns. but during monsoon and during high tide time waves are at their best.

My Experience:

Visited yesterday. Ticket price is 150 Rs not 100 as told in media earlier. There were hardly any waves in January, so the fun was limited. But then there is high chance that bridge will be disassembled in June, so no point waiting. OK for one time experience because it is an attraction in our town, wouldn't say come all the way just for this. Watch a 2 min video below [Watch on Youtube]

Are the pontoon block bridges strong enough?

Yes, I have seen an edition of The Grand tour where cars were driven on these bridges. Of course quality and strength of the blocks could vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Watch below

I am still trying to understand why this project cost 80 lakhs (or 1 crore now).

Each of the blocks used to make a bridge are available for around 20-25 $ a piece- when you buy in bulk it is just 2000 INR per piece. Still let us assume 2500 INR  a piece. The floating bridge at Malpe has around 1700 blocks (215*6 =1290 + 25*16= 400) [Source]

  • 1700 blocks is 34 lakh INR. Add to that transportation cost, fixing cost, cost of side rails- should not exceed 40 lakhs in my opinion.
  • 100-150 life jacket needs to be purchased (500 to 1000 INR a piece- 1 lakh rupees)
  • Safety ropes, side pillars, tent = 2 lakhs
  • Inauguration function etc = 2 lakhs
  • Plus a dozen odd staff, guards need to be deployed- but they are paid on commission basis and not fixed salary, so fixed cost here.

That is about 45 lakhs. All these still doesn’t add up to 80 lakhs. But then you know Govt projects- they have to give security deposit and tender fee, bribe needs to paid (Karnataka Govt is accused of taking as much as 40% of project cost as bribe). Thus I guess 40-50 lakh spending is pegged at 80 lakhs.

The cost of repair in December, inauguration function etc could easily add up to another 20 lakhs taking total to 1 crore rupees.

Now they are charging 150 INR per person to enter. Assuming 1000 people enter per day, that is 1.5 lakh INR in revenue per day. Within 1 month they can recover their entire investment and start making profits. No staff salary cost, they are paid a % of daily collection, except replacing any damaged boxes if any. That is assuming the bridge holds on.

To give you a comparison, boat ride to St Mary’s cost 300 INR per person. A full day at amusement parks (like GRS) cost 700 to 900 INR. 100 INR is fine for one time experience I think, but would have been nice if the floating bridge was a bit longer- like 500 meters instead of 120. 

When in Malpe, you can also try some zorbing, Banana boat ride, jetski ride, seawalk and other activities and games.

What do you think of this floating bridge? Exciting?

If this idea of floating bridge proves to be a commercial success, same may be introduced in other places- Mangalore, Honnavara, Karwar, Gokarna, Murudeshwara etc. Let us see.

Also read: Udupi's potential drive-in beach *

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