Kerala is bestowed with a long sea coast that virtually extends all along the State and a meandering network of backwaters, canals and rivers, which makes it a perfect destination for water tourism and leisure activities.
Kerala has asked The National Institute of Water Sports (NIWS) in Goa to chart out a detailed project report. Once the policy clearances are obtained , water sports and other leisure activities will be taken up in a phased manner. Kerala holds an enviable position for a range of water sporting options like windsurfing, kayaking and canoeing. The ethnic water activities of Kerala including house boat cruise and snake boat racing could also be included in the activity list to ensure a diverse fare. The main objective of this plan would be to promote new water sporting destinations apart from the popular spots like in Kerala like Punnamada, Ashtamudi, Kumarakom and Bakel.
Apart from enhancing the tourism potential of the State, weather sporting events would also ensure the protection of water bodies in the State, which are facing a high risk from the spiraling commercial and developmental activities in the State, which has taken a heavy toll over its natural resources.
In case you are on a visit to Kerala then you would be spotting many hoardings with interesting names like Mountain mist, cloud nine, Misty meadows, Green Valley and many many more all along its highways! In case you thought that these were verdant nature parks and forest trails, that Kerala was once famous for, you would be in for a shocking surprise. These are nothing but names of apartments, hotels and home stays that try to lure you with these attractive names, that evoke a Kerala feel!
Kerala was once a land of misty mountains and green valleys; however now a days, all we have are these tasteless concrete structures that have sprang up all along Kerala! For those who are visiting this State after a long gap, this change would be far more evident and distressing.
Unfortunately, Kerala has become a haven for the land mafias and land grabbers where you can buy a hillock, encroach into the backwaters , fill the fertile paddy fields or even sneak into the fragile eco zones and wild life sanctuaries by greasing the palms of the concerned officials. The cash flushed NRIs and the mass tourist trails have indeed left its impact on the unique ecosystem of Kerala.
As the pressure on the natural resources is on the rise by the day, Kerala has long ceased to be God’s own country. Before we head to a point of no return, we all need to put our heads together to make sure that we preserve the landscape and natural beauty of Kerala, which can only ensure the growth of tourism in future. Let us not put our rivers, lakes and paddy fields for sale, for a few pennies. The need of the hour is sustainable tourism on the lines of Kumbalangi village or Lakshadeep , where there is a clamp down on commercial activity and constructions.
The new visa regulations and the escalating costs have brought in a sharp decline in tourism in Kerala and if we fail to heed to the warning signals, it is only a matter of time before Kerala is pushed into oblivion in the global tourist map.
The earth has enough for everyone’s NEED, not for everyone’s GREED.