Giving a major boost to adventure tourism in the district, the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) is mulling the setting up of training camps for river rafting at Kodanad, the picturesque southern bank of the Periyar. DTPC secretary R Jayasankar said that the project is one of the prime initiative of the council and aims to promote adventure tourism in the district. The training programme will showcase the diverse options for adventure tourism available in the district, Jayasankar added.
“Experts have found the Periyar offers the best white waters for kayaking and rafting. Considering its suitability, the DTPC has mooted a proposal to launch a permanent training camp for river rafting at Kodanad,” said Jayasankar. The Tourism Department has already given its approval for the proposal. A Detailed Project Report (DPR) has also been prepared for the same. Star Walks, a Chennai-based event group, was entrusted with the responsibility for supplying technical support to the project.
“We are planning to launch a seven-day training programme on an experimental basis. In the first phase, admission will be limited for NCC cadets from various colleges in the district. Later it will be extended to other students and the public. All advanced rafts will be available for training,” the DTPC secretary added. According to the DPR submitted by Star Walks, the initial cost for the ambitious project will be `7 lakh. The DTPC has to get an approval from the Forest Department for using a road which is under the authority of the department, before going ahead with its plans.
“Steps are being taken to get the green signal from the Forest Department at the earliest”, Jayasankar said. If things go as planned, the first training camp at Kodanad will be organised in the last week of December. If the initial scheme proves to be a success, the camp will be extended on a regular basis, sources said. “Though the project mainly focuses on youths, interested students and public will also get training in its second phase,” Jayasakar added.
The DTPC secretary further said that considering the rising number of youths visiting the southern part of the river such as Kodanad, Panniyelporu, Bhoothathankettu, among others, the DTPC has another plan to initiate more adventure-oriented tourism activities in the areas. A project report has been also prepared in this regard, he said.