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Eco tourism project to foucs on Nila river

The project has been conceived to bring in vistiors without in any way harming the fragile eco system of the river.

Updated: Nov 28, 2010, 13:37 PM IST

Malappuram: Kerala`s first major river-
basin eco tourism project on the banks of the river Bhrathapuzha will be opened next month, offering a glance to visitors to the panoramic settings and cultural significance of the state`s second longest river flowing through the north-central districts.

The project has been conceived to bring in vistiors without
in any way harming the fragile eco system of the river, which
has over the last few decades been facing serious degradation
due to building and sand-mining, according K T Jaleel, MLA
from Kuttippuram and the prime-mover of the project.

" We are not motivated by monitory concerns, as many other
tourism projects are. We are more concerned to preserve the
health, beauty and sanctity of the river while creating
facilities for all to come and enjoy them", Jaleel, who
represents Kuttippuram in the assembly, said.

Etched in cultural consciousness of Malayalis for centuries,
the river, also known as `Nila`, has been associated with many
of the outstanding writers and artists having either born on
its bank or drawn creative inspiration from it for their
artistic pursuits.

Spread on five acres near kuttippuram town in Malappuram
district, the project comprises an open theatre for staging
performing art forms, bamboo and rock gardens, youth convention
centre and kids corner.

A one-and-a-half km long footpath along the embankment
of the river has been developed for the visitors to stroll
enjoying the salubrious breeze coming from the river.

Kerala Tourism Department has spent Rs 3 Crore for the
initial phase of the project.

Originating from Anamali hills in Tamil Nadu, 209-km long
Nila is Kerala`s second longest river after the Periyar.

Flowing through Palakkad, Thrissur and Malappuram districts,
Nila has been facing grim threats due to human intervention.

Several stretches of it had already dried up having its flow
clogged due to encroachments and sand-mining.

Environmental and cultural personalities in Kerala have
launched a campaign to save the river from further
degradation.

Kerala`s premier school for traditional arts, Kalamandalam,
is located close to the river at Cheruthuruthy.

PTI