The eco-tourism project being launched by Pappinissery Eco-Tourism Society in the mangrove-rich areas on the banks of the Valapattanam River is in the centre of a controversy in the wake of allegations that the Society is encroaching river bank in the guise of developing it into an eco-tourism spot.
The project was formally launched in the first week of January, according to the society office-bearers, for tapping the tourism potential of the ecologically sensitive mangroves on the banks of the river. The works were formally inaugurated by CPI(M) Central Committee member E.P. Jayarajan. The project is scheduled to be inaugurated by actor Suresh Gopi on April 4.
While the society representatives say that the project is to save the ecologically fragile mangrove areas from destruction, its political rivals in the area are sceptical about the claim that the project is for protecting the area from being treated as a garbage dump.
The Muslim Youth League (MYL) staged a march to the Collectorate here to protest against the project. The district United Democratic Front (UDF) is planning to launch an agitation against the eco-tourism project. UDF workers will stage a dharna on the Pazhayangadi road junction on the National Highway on April 1 afternoon. K. Sudhakaran, MP, will inaugurate the dharna.