Taking the SHG route to tourism development

  • A.D. Balasubramaniyan
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Jawadu hills nicknamed ‘Princess of Honey’

The logo designed for Jawadu tourism. The nickname and logo will be used in the future promotion drives.
The logo designed for Jawadu tourism. The nickname and logo will be used in the future promotion drives.

Massive tourism development activities to make Jawadu Hills an attractive destination are on the cards.

To promote tourism development activities in the hill a body called ‘Jawadu Hill Development and Tourism Promotion Society (JHDTPS) has been established. Several projects to the tune of Rs. 5 crore are being prepared to provide amenities to tourists, to give facelift to places of interest and to set up new attractions.

After chairing a meeting of JHDTPS a few days ago at Jamunamarathur, Collector Vijay Pingale told The Hindu that 11 Self Help Groups (SHGs) have been formed to carry on the initiative.

Each group will be entrusted with a particular component of the tourism development. For example, a group will offer transportation another will look after parks etc.

“The hill has been nicknamed as ‘Princess of Honey’ and a logo has been designed for Jawadu tourism. The nickname and logo will be used in the future promotion drives,” he said.

Class and mass packages

Two different tourism packages are being planned for different kinds of tourists. Those who can afford to spend more would be allowed to selected places where they can enjoy the ecology of the hill and this would be called ‘class tourism.’

Those who could not spend much will have to be content with visiting places around Jamunamarathur and this would be called ‘mass tourism.’

VIT University is developing a website dedicated to Jawadu Hill tourism and the site would possibly be launched in April.

At the recent meeting, Mr. Pingale unveiled several plans, including sprucing up and beautification of places like Athipattu watch tower, Murugan Temple area, Children’s Park, Boat House, Beeman Falls, Kolappan Eri, Kovilur Eri, Amirthi Eri and Shiva Temple area.

Developing places that would be covered under ‘class toursim’ include Shenbagathoppu, Pattaraikkadu and Mithi.

Arches would be in place at entry points like Chengam, Polur, Alangayam, Amirthi and Jamunamarathur.

Other plans include setting up of an Agriculture Information Centre in the Eco Park that is coming up in a 10 acre area.

A guest house would be constructed in the park through PWD or Highways Department. It was also decided to get the Mathi-Shenbagathoppu trekking route ready by the end of this year.

To facilitate tourists to visit the pre-historic cave dwellings in Keel Cheppili and Mel Cheppili, a new pathway would be laid in the hill and wayside resting places with drinking water facility would also be in place.

A proposal would be sent to the tourism department to set up a theme park in Athipattu; maintain Beeman Falls through Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department; purchase additional boats for the boating facility in Kolappan Eri and for a new restaurant to provide quality food.

Mr. Pingale told The Hindu that a guest house owned by rural development department that was leased out to a private party has now been handed over to an SHG connected with the society. There is also a plan to permit private sector to take lands of tribal people on lease to construct lodges, he said.




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