THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ponmudi hill station, one of the favourite tourist destinations in the capital city, is most likely to be opened to the public on Wednesday. The forest department officials have made a final decision in this regard.
Last September, the ecotourism centre had opened its gates after the Covid-induced lockdown. Due to the heavy rain damaging the roads of the hill station, the officials closed the destination once again. The Ponmudi upper sanatorium had been lying closed for several months. Only tourists staying at Golden Peak Hill resort under the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) could visit the spot.
According to the forest officials, entry to the Ponmudi upper sanatorium will be regulated. “Only 1,500 people will be allowed at a time. We are introducing an online system for this purpose. The road had suffered damage in the heavy rains. Crash barriers at hairpin curves were also damaged,” said Sunil Kumar S, section forest officer, Ponmudi Ecotourism.
Sunil said, “Road work in two damaged portions is nearing completion. However, work in one portion is not yet complete. We will close the centre once more when the road work begins”.
The hill station will be open to the public from 8 am to 4 pm. “We are anticipating a huge inflow of tourists. So we are limiting the number of people to avoid crowding,” said a forest department officials.
The district tourism promotion council (DTPC) officials said tourists will get an opportunity to experience the hill station with modern facilities arranged in the Ponmudi lower sanatorium.
“The children’s park located near the government guest house is an attraction for everyone. A small watchtower has also been set up in the area. Other facilities include a toilet and a canteen which is being run by the Kudumbashree unit,” said Sharon Veettil, DTPC secretary.
More facilities will be added at the destination, said Sharon. For the Christmas-New Year festivities, a helicopter ride was also introduced at Ponmudi from December 29 to January 1.