The ambitious Malayattoor tourism circuit project mooted by the Malayattoor-Neeleeswaram panchayat and the Tourism Department has not reached anywhere.
This is mainly because the the 250-metre Kodanad-Malayattoor bridge is yet to be completed. The proposed bridge can connect the Malayattoor pilgrim centre to Kodanad and channel pilgrim tourism from Malayattoor to other key sites in Perumbavoor. It will also shorten the distance between other tourism sites in the state such as Munnar and Athirappally waterfalls and spots like St Thomas Church Malayattoor, Ezhattumugham nature village, Mulankuzhi waterfalls, forest tracks of Panyeli Poru, sacred groves of Iringole Kavu, Kalil Cave temple and Kodanad Elephant Training Centre.
The bridge was to be completed by December 2012, but it looks like it will take another year for its completion as the work is moving at a snail’s pace. The construction of middle pillar will not finish anytime soon, sources said.
Radhakrishnan Chengattu, president, Malayattoor-Neeleeswaram panchayat, said that the Malayattoor tourism circuit project, which will be a major boost for the tourism sector in the state, is yet to take off owing to the non-completion of the bridge.
“We have met the ministers and officials regarding the issue but their promises are still to be kept. Once the bridge is in place it will help boost the tourism sector as well as the overall development of the place,” he said.
The foundation stone for the `15-crore bridge was laid in December 2010. It is learnt that the construction of the approach roads to the bridge is also pending.
“It is very unfortunate that the construction of the bridge is being delayed. It looks like the work will finish by only by the beginning of next year,” Radhakrishnan said. Eby Stephen, a native of Malayattoor said that the delay is deliberate. “If the work goes at this pace, they can put the blame on this year’s monsoon also,” he alleged.
However the contractor of the project said the delay was caused by the adverse weather conditions