Changes in guidelines for tourists

Kovai Coutrallam waterfalls at the foothills of Siruvani will be thrown open for tourists on Saturday.

During the summer season, following a dry spell, owing to non-availability of water at the falls and movement of pachyderms in search of water, Kovai Coutrallam remained closed for more than a month. Booluvampatti Range Officer M.S. Parthiban told The Hindu that the District Forest Officer, V. Thirunavukkarasu, has ordered the re-opening of falls.

The new guidelines for tourists are private vehicles of the tourists on crossing the check-post at Chadivayal will be allowed till the new parking lot near the Siruvani Road – Kovai Coutrallam Junction. From this parking lot, the tourists will be taken to the old parking area near the waterfalls in an eco-tourism vehicle of the Forest Department, from there the tourists can enjoy the canopy walk and make it to the waterfalls.

Tourists will not be allowed to carry any material from the new parking lot. This is being done to prevent littering of the forests and to prevent people from resorting to consumption of liquor in deeper pockets of the reserve forest, Mr. Parthiban said. The department will open a canteen at the old parking area. In the event of the tourists wanting to have their food from home, they should do so at a special shelter provided in the new parking area since food materials will not be allowed in the eco-tourism vehicle. Private vehicles and walking from the new parking lot to the old parking lot will not be allowed. Anybody found walking and not travelling by the eco-tourism vehicle will be treated as an offence and penalty levied. The two new kumki elephants Nanjan and Pari brought from Top Slip are getting adopted to the situation and very shortly, Pari will be used for elephant safari, he said.