If things go as planned, Okkal Thuruth, a small island along the Periyar river, and areas close to it in the eastern parts of the district will soon become a major tourism destination.
The Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Ltd (KTIL) has started a feasibility study for the proposed Okkal Thuruth Tourism project, a mega project worth around `25 crore, mooted by District Tourism Promotion Council(DTPC) with an aim of developing a new tourism circuit connecting the tourism spots in the area.
KTIL General Manager A Unnikrishnan said that initial steps have been taken to prepare a detailed master plan for the project. A team of officials led by him had visited the area and discussions were held with representatives of local bodies as part of the feasibility study. The study report will soon be submitted to the Tourism Department.
After a detailed discussion with the Department, a master plan will be finalised,” he said.
DTPC secretary R Jayasankar said the DTPC has proposed the project with the aim of turning the eastern parts of the district into a tourism centre. As per our proposal, the 35-acre Okkal Thuruth will be developed on the lines of the Bolgatty Palace, he said.
The project mainly focuses on developing the area into a tourism centre of international standard, keeping its heritage elements intact. As per the plan, a tourism circuit connecting Kalady, Okkal Thuruth, Malayatoor, Kodanad, Paniyeli Poru, Kallil Temple, Iringole Kavu and Naganchery Mana will be developed.
“Development projects will be implemented with the participation of the local bodies and the Forest Department. After completing the project, the area is expected to become popular and attract more domestic and foreign tourists,” he said.
Because of the dearth of funds, the DTPC has forwarded the proposal to the state Tourism Department to assign the project to other agencies for implementation. If the KTIL is entrusted with the project, the DTPC will be its promotional partner, he said.