The plan to turn Pathiramanal, a picturesque island in the middle of Vembanad Lake, into a top tourist destination remains on paper.
While major announcements such as the creation of a biodiversity park, a butterfly garden, a bird watching facility, floating restaurants, the rejuvenation of the canal, etc. have been mothballed, the island, which is visited by people from far and near, now lacks even basic amenities. Poor waste disposal options, chaotic toilet blocks and poor connectivity spoil the charm of the destination.
The island is part of the muhamma grama panchayat.
According to the Arangu Social Services Forum in Muhamma, the place has become a haven for anti-social elements at night, as electricity has not yet reached the island.
“It is not the dearth of projects but the nonchalant approach of the authorities that is preventing the development of Pathiramanal. Although it is visited by people from all over Kerala and outside, the island is in ruins “There are no toilets for women. All its Deliberate attempts are being made to prevent the development of Pathiramanal as some people are concerned that it will negatively affect tourism in Kumarakom,” said Shaji CP, boss of the Arangu Social Services Forum.
Although the ecologically sensitive Pathiramanal was declared a Local Biodiversity Heritage Site (LBHS) in 2020, no concrete steps are taken to conserve the place.
According to a report prepared by the district-level technical support group of the Kerala State Biodiversity Council, the island is home to a large number of mangroves belonging to four species. Also, there are 160 types of flowering plants and nine types of ferns. It is home to 21 species of shrubs, 72 small plants and 13 species of vines. Up to 106 types of butterflies, 89 species of birds, 18 types of dragonflies, 18 amphibians, 12 types of reptiles and five species of mammals are found on the island.
“The island needs eco-friendly development. An agriculture and eco-tourism project should be started there. Agriculture and tourism departments should take the lead in the development of Pathiramanal. Its development will create more job opportunities and boost the economy of Muhamma,” Mr. Shaji said.