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Updated: May 2, 2010 01:14 IST

International kite festival begins

Staff Reporter
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Kodiyeri warns of stern action against sand mining

Minister for Home and Tourism Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said nothing should stop the police from taking stringent action against those who illegally mine sand from the Kappad beach threatening its beauty.

He was inaugurating the first India International Kite Festival and the first phase of beautification work on the Kappad beach on Saturday.

Urging the people to keep constant vigil against the sand miners on the beach, Mr. Balakrishnan said the police would be given “whatever facilities or equipment, including patrolling boats” to check the sand-mining on the beach. However, he said, the police alone could no protect the beauty of any tourist destination. “We, the tourists and the local people, also should take up the responsibility of protecting it.”

The Minister also warned the illegal miners that “no amount of influence or tearful apology would be sufficient to save the law-breakers once they are caught. “

Beautification project

The Kappad beach beautification project is estimated to cost Rs.7 crore. Of which Rs.1.5 crore has been spent on constructing an elevated platform as a beach walkway. The walkway also has a cafeteria, rain shelters, gas lamps and toilets. A seawall has also been built at a cost of Rs.2.5 crore.

The Minister said the current year held the record for the largest volume of developments in the tourism infrastructure front after the formation of the State.

Welcoming the international delegates to the three-day kite festival, Mr. Balakrishnan said the festival was first of its kind in the State and it would give a palpable impetuous to the tourism industry in the area.

District Tourism Promotion Council secretary B. Anand said it was decided to make the kite festival an annual event on the Kappad beach. “But we will organise it in January from next time onwards considering several factors, including climate and tourist arrival,” he said.

The three-day event also comprises kite-making workshops, food festival and cultural events on all days. The workshop on Saturday was led by U.K. team member Derek Kuen. As many as 60 children participated in the event.

P. Viswan, MLA, presided over the inaugural ceremony.

Keywords: Illegal mining

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