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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Pathiramanal still waits to turn into a top tourist spot- Mrit News

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The plan to turn Pathiramanal, a picturesque island in the middle of Vembanad Lake, into a top tourist destination remains on paper.

While major announcements such as setting up a biodiversity park, butterfly garden, bird watching facility, floating restaurants, canal rejuvenation, and so on have been put on the back burner, the island, which is visited by people from far and near, is now lacking even the basic amenities. Poor waste treatment options, shambolic comfort stations, and poor connectivity, are spoiling the charm of the destination.

The island is part of the Muhamma grama panchayat.

According to Arangu Social Service Forum in Muhamma, the place has turned into a safe haven for anti-social elements during the night, as electricity is yet to reach the island.

“It is not the dearth of projects, but the lackadaisical approach of the authorities that are preventing the development of Pathiramanal. Despite being visited by people from across Kerala and outside, the island is in shambles. It has no toilet for women. All its canals remain choked. Deliberate attempts are being made to prevent the development of Pathiramanal, as there is fear among some people that it will adversely affect tourism in Kumarakom,” says Shaji C.P., patron, Arangu Social Service Forum.

Though the ecologically sensitive Pathiramanal was declared a Local Biodiversity Heritage Site (LBHS) in 2020, no concrete steps are being taken to conserve the place.

As per a report prepared by the district-level technical support group of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board, the island is home to a large number of mangroves belonging to four species. Besides, there are 160 types of flowering plants and nine types of ferns. It is home to 21 species of shrubs, 72 small plants, and 13 creeper plant species. As many as 106 types of butterflies, 89 bird species, 18 types of dragonflies, 18 amphibians, 12 types of reptiles, and five mammal species, are found on the island.

“The island needs environment-friendly development. An agriculture-eco tourism project should be started there. The Agriculture and Tourism departments should take the lead in developing Pathiramanal. Its development will create more job opportunities and boost the economy of Muhamma,” says Mr. Shaji.

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