Kerala Tourism Department has sanctioned Rs.1 crore for enhancing infrastructure in Maravanthuruthu Panchayat in the Kottayam district which gained global accolades by implementing sustainable and inclusive Water STREET project as part of the Responsible Tourism initiative.
While inaugurating the Water Street project in Maravanthuruthu earlier, Tourism Minister Shri P A Mohamed Riyas had assured that developmental works worth Rs.1 crore would be carried out in Maravanthuruthu where tourism has been developed with public participation.
The amount will be utilised for developing tourism facilities including a floating boat jetty at Attuvelakadavu and Thuruthumma hanging bridge, which come under the Water STREET project. The tourism destination developmental activities will be carried out in these areas with special emphasis on water conservation.
With the completion of these works, Maravanthuruthu will have four recognised tourism sites apart from Arivalthodu, Moozhikkal Vayanasala and Koottommel – Moozhikkal Art STREET area.
These works will be carried out by the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation Ltd (KSINC), a State government undertaking.
Shri Riyas said the development of the Water Street project in Maravanthuruthu is a major initiative in facilitating growth of the tourism in rural areas.
“Activities focusing on rural areas and traditional lifestyle and occupations are a major component of Kerala model of sustainable and inclusive tourism development,” the Minister added.
The Water Street project bagged a global award at World Travel Market, London, last year, for the trail-blazing water conservation initiative linked to tourism development, with its implementation at Maravanthuruthu earning special praise.
The Maravanthuruthu Water Street initiative also won last year’s International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) Indian Sub-Continent Award instituted by the Madhya Pradesh government and the UK-based ICRT International.
STREET (Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic, Tourism) has become a template for sustainable and community-oriented tourism initiatives in India and abroad.
Also, recently, an official delegation from Madhya Pradesh came to Maravanthuruthu to study the STREET project and explore the possibilities of replicating it in the northern state.