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March 13, 2015

Poor Facilities Appal Tourists

at Arippara waterfalls lack road access, comfort stations


13 March 2015

Jabir MUushthrai, Kozhikode: The Arippara waterfalls in Thiruvambadi panchayat in the district is one of the most beautiful tourism destinations and probably the most visited place after the Thusharagiri waterfalls in the district. The natural falls, located a few kilometres away from Thiruvambadi town, is managed by the Tourism Department. Visited by over 1,000 people during the weekends throughout the season that starts from November, the destination, however, lacks facilities including proper road access, comfort stations or a tourism facilitation centre. This is when the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) is collecting a good amount as entry fee from visitors besides parking fee for vehicles.

The narrow, nearly 1.5 km long, road leading to the waterfall is in appallingly bad shape with not even proper signboard to guide the visitors.

“If people come here despite all these adversities, it is only because of the wild beauty of the falls and the alluring ambience of the place,” said A. Babu, who is manning the DTPC counter.

The falls, which attracts visitors from different parts of southern India, has several mini cascades falling from different heights to the rocky terrains surrounding the captivatingly verdant setting spread across a few hundred metres in the foothills of the Western Ghats.

A small concrete security shelter manned by a couple of guards and a tiny toilet are the only facilities at this tourist spot, which is yet to get electricity connection.

Though the work on a tourism facilitation centre started more than 18 months ago, it is nowhere near completion. According to DTPC secretary P.G. Rajeev, the Small Industries Development Corporation was delaying the work despite repeated instructions.

“Tarring a few hundred metres of connecting road also is part of the project, but that also is getting delayed indefinitely for some reasons,” said Mr. Rajeev.

The parking facility could be developed only if the land was handed over to the department by the owner, he added.

Panchayat’s role

The tourist spot is also not getting proper attention from the panchayat authorities, locals alleged.

However, Thiruvambadi panchayat president Eliyamma George said the panchayat had decided to allocate sufficient funds for developing the road to the waterfalls in the next budget.

“We are expecting to begin the work soon,” she said.