Fate of Pappinissery mangrove park dampens prospects

With the closure of the mangrove theme park set up by Pappinissery Eco-Tourism Society in Kannur district, a mangrove eco-tourism circuit, which was envisaged in Kadalundi here, is also failing to take off though a year and a half has already passed since the Ministry of Tourism took a formal decision in favour of project.

As per the existing status, the Tourism Department is yet to prepare a final sketch for realising the project. The plan was to chalk out a number of schemes to conserve the rich mangrove vegetation in the region. It had envisaged setting up an eco-friendly boat jetty, fishing point and pavements for visitors. It had also proposed to build fortifying walls to protect the decaying river bed of the Kadalundi river.

The Central government had sanctioned Rs.3.50 crore for the implementation of the scheme with the support of the Kerala Tourism Department. The Kadalundi grama panchayat too had given administrative sanction for giving Rs.42.33 lakh in support of the scheme. But, the initiatives lost steam in the backdrop of the closure of the mangrove theme park in Kannur.

According to the then office-bearers of the Kadalundi panchayat, it was the cold approach of the Revenue Department that resulted in spoiling the project. It had not given sanction to the Tourism Department to occupy the land in its possession on the banks of Kadalundi River, they added.

The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) had also been entrusted to take care of the project, but the delay in preparing a final roadmap by Kerala Tourism forced it to withdraw from the scene.

Though seven panchayats in four districts of North Malabar had been selected as beneficiaries of the project, no progress has been reported from any of these places, thanks to sluggish official proceedings.