Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C.Venugopal has said the first phase of the Alappuzha mega tourism project, which is expected to put the town in a prominent place in the world tourism map, will be completed within three years.

The minister was attending a meeting of people's representatives and officials to prepare a draft of the backwater circuit project here on Friday. The first phase of the project will bring in development of Rs 52.25 crore through projects planned from Aroorkutty to Kayamkulam. Already, a total of Rs 47.62 crore Central fund for the project has been sanctioned. The rest of the amount will be sanctioned soon by the Kerala government. The procedures for inviting tenders and awarding them will be completed in June. The highlight of the project will be the setting up of seven houseboat terminals at a cost of Rs 14.95 crore at select places.

The places are Aroorkutty, Thanneermukkom, Pallathuruthy, Nedumudi, Kanjipadam, Thottappally and Kayamkulam. Night halt terminals will be set up at Vattakayal in Nedumudi and Vilakkumaram in Karumadi. Other features include development of Arthungal beach at a cost of Rs 1.59 crore and Thottappally beach at a cost of Rs 1.02 crore.

Call for action plan

Mr.Venugopal said that a special project officer should be appointed by the tourism department to implement the project. Also, an action plan should be framed to complete the project in a time-bound manner.