Kerala

₹1.25-crore project for Silent Valley

Verdant haven: The entrance to the Silent Valley National Park in Palakkad. K.K. Mustafah   | Photo Credit: K_K_Mustafah;K_K_Mustafah -

The Silent Valley National Park, home to one of the oldest rainforests and many species of rare flora and fauna, is to get a nature appreciation and interpretative ecotourism programme as part of the upgrade of the ecotourism facilities to attract more nature enthusiasts.

Kerala Tourism has given the nod for the proposal mooted by the Forest Department as the existing ecotourism programmes — Sairandhri visit, Boomiyampadi package, Keerippara trekking, Walk with River master programme, and river hut programme — are attracting nature enthusiasts.

The recent Working Group of Kerala Tourism has approved the ₹1.25-crore nature appreciation and interpretative programme, official sources told The Hindu. The programme will be executed by the Department of Tourism in 12 months.

Under the programme, the existing interpretation and amenity centre at Mukkali will be renovated at an estimated cost of ₹1 crore.

Details on the national park’s history, significance, and activities will be available to visitors. A theatre to screen videos on Silent Valley and other environment films will be set up.

Section on rainforests

The pathway to the centre will be upgraded, facilitating one way traffic. A full-fledged library with a special section on rainforests will be set up for the use of visitors, researchers, and personnel.

Improvement of the current facilities at a cost of ₹20 lakh, installation of signboards for ₹3 lakh, and purchase of necessary equipment for the existing ecotourism programmes for ₹2 lakh have also been given the nod.

The existing programmes are managed by the 32-member Silent Valley Forest Development Agency (FDA). The Sairandhri visit includes a safari of 23 km to Sairandhri, visit to the interpretation centre, and a one-hour trek to Kunthipuzha. The 100-ft watchtower at Sairandhri gives visitors a bird’s eye view of the Silent Valley and the spot where the dam was proposed across the Kunthi river.

The facilities at the forest inspection bungalow, dormitory at Mukkali, and the eco-restoration centre at Boomiyampadi are being utilised to accommodate the visitors. Walk with the Master programme serves as an effective medium for visitors to learn the nuances of subjects related to nature.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 1:41:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/125-crore-project-for-silent-valley/article25922137.ece

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