The State government has initiated steps to protect the Varkala cliffs and make it a UNESCO geo-heritage site, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Wednesday.

Replying to a submission by Varkala Kahar in the Assembly, he said the Department of Tourism, in association with the Geological Survey of India (GSI), had embarked on a project to set up a geological park highlighting the history and features of the rare geological formation at Varkala.

Pointing out that a portion of the cliff had come down the other day, Mr. Kahar highlighted the need for urgent steps to shore up the formation and prevent it from crumbling further.

Mr. Chandy said the District Collector had been asked to submit a report on the damage to the cliff. He said the government would take immediate steps to protect and conserve the cliff. “The Varkala municipality has initiated action with the help of the police, GSI and the departments of Soil Survey and Tourism. It has taken steps to ban the movement of vehicles on the footpath atop the cliff and remove the unauthorised drains and waste-water outlets constructed by hotels.”

The Chief Minister said the government would issue directions to the municipality to go ahead with the measures.