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Kerala govt mulls legislation for Munnar tourism development

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

The Kerala government is considering enacting a legislation to ensure friendly tourism development in ecologically fragile Munnar, which suffered extensive damage in the floods that ravaged the state last month.

Addressing reporters here Thursday State Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said objective of the new legislation was to take care of various things including construction activities in the ecologically fragile Munnar, one of the sought after destinations in the state.

Munnar, a part of Western ghats in the high range Idukki district, had witnessed large number of landslips and water logging in several places during the floods.

Noting that the deluge had badly hit the tourism sector, Surendran said the hospitality industry alone had suffered a loss of Rs 500 crore due to cancellation of trips by domestic and foreign tourists.

Over 2,000 houseboats, majority of them in Alappuzha district were out of service, directly affecting more than 15,000 people employed in the sector, he said.

Surendran, also minister for Co-operation, said co-operative department has drawn up a plan to build 4,000 houses for those who had lost their homes in the floods.

"We are waiting for the list of beneficieris from the Revenue Department to start the consturction work, Surendran said.

Surendran, who also holds the Devaswom portfolio, said Pamba, the foot hills of famous Lord Ayappa hillshrine at Sabarimala was completely destroyed in the floods.

The government and Travancore Devaswom Board that manages the temple were of the view that concrete construction activities would be restricted in Pamba.

"Henceforth only temporary structures would be allowed in Pamba, he said.

Steps to setup various amenities for Ayyappa devotees at Nilackal, before the coming Mandala-Makaravillaku festival season starting in November, was fast progressing, he added.

To a query, the Minister said, it was not possible to impose any restriction on the number of devotees visiting the temple.

According to official figures, a total of 491 people were killed in monsoon rains in Kerala since May 29.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, September 20 2018. 18:40 IST
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