A Rs.1.08-crore Tourist Facilitation Centre set up by Kerala Tourism to take care of the needs of tourists and travellers will be commissioned at Karali, near Parassala, on Tuesday.

With this, a long-pending demand of those travelling to and from Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of the country, for a drive-in tourist facilitation centre, at least on the Thiruvananthapuram-Parassala sector, has materialised.

Set up on 53 cents of land owned by Kerala Tourism by the side of National Highway-66, the 4,500 sq ft centre has two dining halls, one of them an air-conditioned one, which can accommodate 100 diners. A separate toilet block and ample parking facilities that can accommodate even stage carriers have been provided.

Minister for Tourism A.P. Anil Kumar will open the centre in the presence of Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor and Minister for Health V.S. Sivakumar.

G. Sankar, architect, Habitat Technology Group, has designed the building in traditional Kerala architecture style. The work has been executed by the Kerala Small Industries Development Corporation Ltd. The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) will monitor the working of the centre.

“The centre has been leased out for three years through a transparent process and the UdayaSurya restaurant will function from 6 a.m. to midnight,” O.T. Prakash, Secretary, DTPC, said.

Handloom village

A handloom village that is being set up on 2.8 hectares at Manchavilakom will also be inaugurated by Mr. Anil Kumar.

A 1,500 sq ft building constructed by Kerala Tourism, in association with the Ecotex Handloom Consortium, at a cost of Rs.25 lakh, will enable visitors to see the entire process of handloom weaving. Sales of handloom textiles and display of products have been arranged there.

Mr. Prakash said a library and an audio-visual centre will also be set up.

The DTPC has taken over and renovated the Samudra beach park at a cost of Rs.32 lakh. A coffee bar, sunset pavilion, and stage for holding cultural programmes have been set up there.

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