Private firm lost interest as number of visitors came down

Visitors to the Island Grounds on Wednesday were surprised to see that ‘Adventure Sports' Zone had given way for construction of a pond for the month-long Kodai Thiruvizha.

Adventure Sports Zone was launched by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) on Island Grounds a year ago on a public-private-partnership mode to offer reverse bungee jumping, rock wall climbing, paint ball, dart board, net cricket, grease pole climbing, squad bike, ‘uri adi' and archery. Similarly parasailing and water skiing were introduced at Mudaliarkuppam Raindrop Boat House in July 2009.

A visit to the site showed that most of the equipment such as bamboo sticks, rubber tyres and pieces of rock wall were dismantled and bundled in a corner, while only water scooters and other boats were used at Mudaliarkuppam.

“Yes, we have stopped the Adventure sports activities and are focussing on Kodai Thiruvizha. We have put on hold our proposal to set up a snow world at sub-zero temperature. It does not make sense to give private firms the land on a long lease,” Tourism Secretary V. Irai Anbu told The Hindu.

TTDC officials said that in the initial stages, adventure sports zone attracted lot of visitors. But the numbers came down eventually. Similarly, at the Mudaliarkuppam, parasailing and water skiing had to be discontinued after a few days due to a technical snag and the visitors had to return disappointed after travelling nearly 90 km on holidays and week-ends.

“We had sent several letters asking them to make some effort to revive the adventure sports zone. However, the private firm was not interested in promoting adventure sports after learning that they were not able to make profit on a daily basis. Having waited for long, we decided to make use of Island Grounds for the Kodai Thiruvizha,” a TTDC official said.