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Nambikulam hill station development project in limbo

Many works remaining incomplete even after four years

Even after four years, a major tourism development project initiated by the Tourism Department at the Nambikulam hill station in Koorachundu is nowhere near completion.

The majority of the proposed works in the first phase are yet to begin in the area which is now in a state of neglect with no proper surveillance or maintenance.

Though the department had sanctioned ₹1.5 crore for the development of various facilities in the popular eco-tourism spot, only the works of a watch tower and a ticket counter were partly completed at the spot. Other major works such as the construction of a cafeteria, rain shelters, gates, hand rails, fences, bio toilets and office building have been pending for many years.

The road access to the spot still remains in a piteous state despite the popularity of the spot among domestic tourists. The demand of the local residents is to complete the renovation works covering at least 3-km stretch connected to the hilltop.

“Expecting timely completion of works, local landowners had handed over nearly three acres to the Tourism Department for the development of the spot. We are totally clueless of the future development of the area,” said a local tourism entrepreneur.

He said that the neglected development activities would spoil the interest of the sightseers to the location.

Nambikulam was selected for the beautification project, considering the prominence of the eco-tourism spot located nearly 2,000 metres above the sea level. Cooperating with the government’s proposal, about 17 local landowners had come together to exchange the required land free of cost with the Tourism Department. The whole aim was to promote the area in the tourism map and support the growth of allied tourism ventures for improving the livelihood of the people.

It was in 2017 that the project was approved by the government.

There was also the warm support of the local administrators from Koorachundu, Kottur, Kayanna, and Panangad panchayats. An Ernakulam-based multi-product engineering company had been entrusted with the work, which was expected to complete it in two years.

According to Tourism Department sources, some unexpected fund crunch was holding up the project midway.

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