The central government has approved the six projects the
Kerala state tourism department had submitted during the
Union Minister for Culture and Tourism Jagmohans visit
to the state recently.
An estimated Rs 3.90 crore has been approved for the projects.
The centre will release Rs 15 crore for the departments
various projects before March-end. The centre has shown
a positive attitude to the projects submitted by the state
government, Minister for Tourism and Fisheries K V Thomas
The projects include improvement of the Jewish Synagogue
road and street lights (Rs 15 lakh), modification of the
Dutch Palace surroundings (Rs 50 lakh), improvement of
the Kalady River ghat (Rs 25 lakh), development of the
jetty in Kochi backwaters (Rs 125 lakh), development of
a walkway along the backwaters (Rs 125 lakh) and water
sports (Rs 125 lakh), he said.
centre has sanctioned Rs 50 lakh for the development of
water sports. The remaining 75 lakh will be released by
April, he said. The centre has also approved projects
given during 2000-2001 and has released Rs 2.7 crore towards
Some of these projects include: integrated development
of Mattancherry-Fort Kochi (Rs 37.5 lakh); Bolghatty Palace
restoration (Rs 25.17 lakh); restoration of heritage buildings
at Chendamangalam (Rs 16.65 lakh); Aluva Palace modification
(Rs 9.5 lakh); Aranmula boat race (Rs 4.5 lakh); ayurveda
centre at Bolghatty (Rs 2.75 lakh); ayurvedic centre
at Kumarakom (Rs 4 lakh); Bolghatty landscaping (Rs 11.1
lakh); water sports at Ashtamudi lake (Rs 20 lakh); house
boats (Rs 5 lakh); trekking at Thenmala eco-tourism project
(Rs 3.3 lakh); and house boats for the Malabar region
(Rs 25 lakh).
The projects that have been approved and are awaiting
funds include Hill Palace modification (Rs 35 lakh), Nehru
boat race (106.32 lakh for three projects related to the
boat race) and development of water sports in various
areas (Rs 110 lakh).
The minister said the department had submitted 29 other
projects to the central government. Discussions will be
held on these projects after April 2002. The state government
had earmarked around Rs 80 crore for tourism development
for the current year. Of this Rs 30 crore will be used
for development of infrastructure, while Rs 10 crore will
be utilised for marketing.
He said the centre has approved Rs 13.24 crore for projects
at the Muthalapozhi fishing harbour. In the first phase
Rs 5.28 crore has been sanctioned. The Centre has also
approved an excess amount of Rs 15 crore for the Thankaserry
harbour. Of this the government has released Rs 7.5 crore.
An estimated Rs 60 lakh has been allocated for the modernisation
of fish landing centres and fishing harbours of Kerala.
The fund will be released before March-end.
The tourism department will cooperate with the Marine
Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) in the implementation
of modernisation programmes at fish landing centres. Thomas
said Munambam will be selected as a model project for
these programmes. He said the centre has accepted a Rs
13.75-crore financial assistance for the Thalai harbour
The centre has also released Rs 4.5 crore out of the Rs
9 crore earmarked during the first phase of the Ponnani
fishing harbour project. Tender proceedings on the Rs
27.59-crore project have been completed, the minister
said. An expert committee has been constituted
to select a site for the proposed aquarium park in Kochi.
The programme, implemented in association with MPEDA,
will focus on exports.
Thomas said his government will not privatise the Kerala
Tourism Development Corporation. Steps will be taken
for establishing an effective management in the corporation.