Setting up seven houseboat terminals and two night-halt terminals and development of two micro-destinations, two beaches, and Alappuzha town as part of a Rs.400-crore mega backwater circuit project for Alappuzha has got a Central assistance of Rs.47.62 crore.
The Central assistance for the backwater circuit, to be completed in two years, is a big boost for Kerala Tourism’s efforts to create better facilities for tourists as poor infrastructure has for long weighed down Alappuzha’s surge in the tourism sector.
Official sources told The Hindu that the assistance is part of Rs.87.77 crore from the Union Ministry of Tourism for seven projects in the State. A sum of Rs.2.38 crore has been sanctioned from the Rs.47.62 crore as first instalment for starting the work and the amount has been released to Kerala Tourism.
The assistance has been given under the Centrally sponsored scheme for infrastructure development of destinations and circuits. A sum of Rs.14.95 crore has been sanctioned for houseboat terminals at Arookutty, Thaneermukkom, Pallathuruthy, Nedumudi, Kanjipadam, Thottappally, and Kayamkulam.
The night-halt terminals will be constructed at Vattakyal West and Karumadi Vilakkumaram at a cost of Rs.13.10 crore.
Micro destination development connected with the circuit at Vayamkarachira and Pandy will get Rs.3.36 crore. The beaches at Arthunkal within the circuit will get an assistance of Rs.2.5 crore.
The scheme for development of Alappuzha town as the central destination of the circuit has got assistance. This includes the development of the terminal complex at finishing point, Vijaya park, sea park, and setting up of sewerage plant at a cost of Rs.1.4 crore.
The Union Ministry, in its order, has asked the State to set up a monitoring committee headed by the Principal Secretary, Tourism, with a member from the Ministry and from the implementing agency. The committee has been asked to monitor physical and financial progress and submit quarterly reports.