Thiruvananthapuram: Wayanad tourism will have a major facelift with the State Government preparing a master plan which will be submitted to the Union Government. Kerala has already declared the master plan as the mega project of tourism in the next year. This will be submitted to the Union Tourism Ministry for financial assistance. Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar said that as the Wayanad master plan is considered as a mega project, the Union Government would sanction Rs 50 crore for tourism development purposes. The project is almost complete and it is in the final stages.
Last year, the development of Alappuzha was given focus and a project submitted to the Union Ministry. After considering the proposal, the government sanctioned the financial assistance and the first instalment is expected by next month, the minister said. G Shankar, architect, who is preparing the master plan for tourism in Wayanad, said that a draft plan has been submitted to the government. The final report will be completed soon. He said that the entire stretch of Wayanad will be covered in the master plan.
It is estimated that around Rs 1,500 crore worth of projects will come up at the tourism sector. Responsible Tourism will also be implemented in some areas where the tribals will also be linked. The tribals too will benefit with the development of tourism. “The plan is to give the tourists the natural real beauty of Wayanad. The projects are prepared without disturbing the ecological balance and not even one tree will be cut down for tourism development”, Shankar said.
The Karappuzha area will be the hub of the tourists arrivals, as it is most accessible point from Mysore, Madurai, Kozhikode and Kannur. From this hub, the tourists will be allowed to move to various places in a restricted manner. There cannot be unrestricted large tourist flow at one given time to some of the tourist spots like Pookodu lake and Edakkal caves.
He pointed out that recently, the number of people who visited Pookodu lake in a day was 2,000 which can lead to many accidents and so the number yshould be restricted. The Alappuzha master plan focuses on upgrading the facilities at the existing tourism spots. The spots which are unexploited are identified and it will be developed. Restaurants, recreation zones, construction of walkways and boating facilities will be given focus. Karumadi, Kuthiravattam Chira, Pallana and Vayyamkara Chira will be developed with more facilities. A DTPC Water Sports Complex at Kayamkulam, with galleries are planned where Kayamkulam boat race is held.