The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the Forest Department to ensure that tourists do not take alcohol to Athirappilly-Vazhachal tourist spot.
Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A M Shaffique issued the directive on a petition filed by P M Purushothaman, former president of Athirappilly gram panchayat, seeking a directive to the state to prevent smoking and use of alcoholic beverages inside the forests surrounding the waterfall. The petitioner submitted that bottles were found in the area.
The court said this showed that several tourists were carrying bottles, either alcohol or water bottles.
“It is clear that no strict vigilance is maintained at the entry point by the Forest Department. Even if water bottles are permitted, they should ensure the bottles are taken back and disposed of in a scientific manner,” the court said.The Forest Department submitted that the statistics of Athirappilly eco-tourism reveal that nearly 10 lakh tourists visit the spot every year. The tourists are permitted to enter the forest through Athirappilly waterfall region and Vazhachal waterfalls. The entry is restricted through pass.