KOCHI: The Tourism Department has decided to implement Green Carpet initiative in four tourism destinations in Ernakulam on a priority basis. The decision was taken following a workshop regarding the second phase implementation of the Green Carpet initiative across Kerala held in Thiruvananthapuram recently.
S Vijayakumar, Ernakulam District Tourism Promotion Council Secretary, who attended the workshop, said that the implementation of the Green Carpet initiative will benefit the tourism sector in Ernakulam. As many as nine tourism destinations in Ernakulam have been selected for the implementation of the Green initiative project. Across Kerala, the Green Carpet initiative will be implemented at 77 tourism destinations.
“Of this, Fort Kochi, Ezhattumugham, Bhoothathankettu and Cherai-Munambam beaches have been selected for implementing the Green Carpet initiative on a priority basis. All the Green Carpet initiatives have to be completed at the destinations before March 2019. Other destinations included in the Green Carpet initiative in the district are: Ernakulam Boat jetty, Kuzhipilly Beach, Malayattoor, and Manappattuchira. where the programme will be implemented without delay,” he said. The main objective of the initiative is to ensure public participation at each destination.
Similarly, basic facilities at each tourist destination have to be developed and maintained. During the workshop, the Tourism Department set 10-key agenda to be achieved at the Green Carpet. This includes: waste management, providing safe drinking water and food, well-maintained toilets and public amenities, maintaining Green Protocol, safety and security of tourists, training and capacity building, ensuring local community participation, and providing information to tourists.
“We have appointed supervisors to ensure the implementation and maintenance of the Green Carpet initiative. As part of the project, a destination manager has to be appointed to maintain these destinations,” Vijayakumar said.
One of the major concerns related to tourism destinations is the absence of a waste management system. Recently, Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) banned the use of plastic materials at 68 tourist spots in Kerala.
In Ernakulam, the ban has been imposed in Kochi city, Fort Kochi, Kalady, Aluva, Maradu, Paravoor, Cherai Beach, Ezhatumukham, Malayatoor, Kadambrayar, Kuzhipilly beach, Munambam beach, Aluva Mannapuram, Arikkal waterfalls, Iringol, Bhoothathankettu, Kumbalangi and Kanjoor.
Only milk pouch/food-grade plastic bags with a thickness of 50 microns and above and plastic used for packaging of medicines are excluded from the ban. Plastic bags used for agriculture, horticulture and plant nurseries with the thickness of 50 microns and above also do not come under the ban.