Slated as a prestigious eco-tourism scheme of region
Kozhikode: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan laid the stone for the first phase of the Sarovaram Project being implemented by the Kerala Tourism Department at Swapna Nagari on Sunday.
The Sarovaram (earlier known as Dream City) scheme is viewed as a cornerstone in the development of eco-tourism in the region, and the culmination of a long-time dream of the city.
The technicalities in the transfer of land for the scheme had delayed its implementation. The first phase of the project would encompass an extent of 50 hectares of land, with 40 acres coming from the Water Resources Department and the rest from the Revenue Department.
The second phase would be implemented with land to be acquired now in private hands.
Also, the project had caused considerable heartburn to environmentalists considering its proximity to the large expanse of wetlands and mangrove forests in the city along the eastern banks of the Canoly Canal in Kottooli and Nedungotoor villages. The eco-tourism scheme reportedly has taken care of the environmental concerns.
The first phase of the Sarovaram project is expected to be complete by May, in time for the anniversary celebrations of the Left Democratic Government.
The project when completed was expected to be a showpiece in eco-tourism with the deepening of the wetlands, conservation of the bird habitats in the vast expanse of mangrove forests, and gardens for relaxation.
The islets dotting the waterbodies here would be connected with wooden bridges. The green belt created in the heart of the city would also have facilities for boating, and would be free of garbage.
The Uralungal Labour Contract Society, Payyoli, is implementing the scheme for which the proposal was mooted more than 15 years ago.
The delay in acquiring the land under two departments was the main impediment in the Dream City, now renamed the Sarovaram scheme, meaning idyllic lake.
Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan inaugurated the work of the project.
The documents relating to the transfer of land for the scheme was handed over by Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran.