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Old February 6th, 2012, 08:47 PM   #61
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Excellent pics biju Didn't know that munnakal beach is this fantastic.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 08:47 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by mohammedirshad06 View Post
The beach and its settings is really fanastic and top class.... Infact, I knew there is a new beach at Munnakal, but never knew its fantastic to this level....
Main reason for the ignorance of this fantastic beach is the lack of connectivity from Kochi due to the absence of a bridge between Azhikode and Munambam.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 08:49 AM   #63
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I guess, very soon, Munnakal, Puthuvype Beach and Cherai, will be new hot cakes for Kerala Tourism......

The govt should plan right now, to have a good 4 laned beach road etc..... And opposite side with good plots for sale for hotels and beach tourism oriented projects...... A good light and sound show in evenings as well as beach tourism events, will surely raise the bar of this beautiful stretch......
Rightly said MI. Like ECR in Chennai...
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Old February 8th, 2012, 09:08 AM   #64
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Paragliding in Kochi soon



The gliders that take off from Puthuvypin beach, will cover Vallarpadam & Vypin giving a complete view of Kochi city from the sky and will return to Puthuvypeen beach.

The project that got navy approval, is waiting for Defence approval due to the presence of Port and other strategic centres.



Source: Deepika
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Old February 10th, 2012, 11:13 AM   #65
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New wave catches up with Puthuvype

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Beach buggies or off-road vehicles ideal for being driven along beaches are becoming a hit on the once sleepy Puthuvype beach in Kochi.

And it is not just the youth who have taken a fancy for it, buggies tailor-made for women and children too have been introduced on the expansive beach spanning 5 km.

A first in State

This may be the first time that such vehicles are being introduced on any beach in Kerala.

Though initially introduced on the Cherai beach a month ago by the Ernakulam district tourism promotion council (DTPC), they were shifted to the shallower Puthuvype beach, which also has a bigger coastline.


The other advantage is that the beach is much nearer to the city — about 12 km from the High Court junction and much less crowded than Cherai. Visitors can see ships passing at a distance and also the Fort Kochi beachfront.

There are fixed rates for 30 minute and hour-long drives. “We will purchase more buggies to keep up with the demand,” Suresh P. Kamalan, who operates them, says.

His present fleet has buggies with and without gear, running on petrol engines of Honda and Yamaha.

Thanks to their suspension, the four-wheelers do not topple easily and are a delight for adventure-seeking people. They also have the reverse gear and can swerve on sand.

Considering that careless riders can run them into people on the beach, they are permitted to operate only on the southern and northern sides of the beach. They also have to give a written declaration that they would be responsible for steering around the off-road vehicle on the beachfront. The buggies are of Chinese and Taiwanese make, with the parts being assembled in Mumbai.

Lacking facilities

Despite its potential as a holiday spot close to the city, the beach does not have the necessary facilities for visitors.

There is no pay-and-park area for vehicles and that makes it tough to walk on the pathway leading to the beach. As for vehicles, they easily get trapped in the sand. “The beach is full on weekends and holidays,” says Dharmajan, a resident of the area. “Unlike many other beaches, Puthuvype is a secure one and anti-social elements do not create any trouble here. We need more buses plying to the locality so that more people come to savour the sunset and also the famed light house,” his friends Amarasimhan and Manoharan chip in.

An evening walker along the beach, James spoke of how the proceeds of the Puthuvype tourism ‘mela' could be used to develop the beach.

“Benches could be laid along the beach for those who cannot sit on the sand,” he suggested.

The only eyesore on the beach is the massive compound walls of oil and LNG companies.

The proposal to have an LPG storage depot near the beach ran aground following opposition from residents of the thickly-inhabited locality.

It might be noteworthy that the beach expanded in phases at Puthuvype, in proportion to the sea eating into the Fort Kochi beach. DTPC secretary T.N. Jayasankar points out that the beach can be better maintained if the area is handed over to local bodies. “We have plans to open an information and food kiosk there,” he says.

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Old February 21st, 2012, 07:49 AM   #66
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Houseboat to cruise through Kumbalangi Backwater

Rs 5000/day is very reasonable of a single bed house boat cruise!
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Want to have a backwater cruise at reasonable rates? Come to Kumbalangi. The Kumbalangi Model Tourism Society is going to launch a houseboat of its own. In spite of being blessed with the vast stretches of serene backwaters which are ideal for a cruise, the locals never came up with the idea of launching a houseboat service.
Every year a large number of domestic and international tourists visit Kumbalangi and enjoy the beauty of the village. Most of them look forward to a backwater cruise as well,” said M P Sivadathan, president, Kumbalangi Model Tourism Society (KMTDS).
“We have been getting inquiry on availability of houseboats ever since the tourists started arriving at Kumbalangi. This prompted the society to launch a houseboat of its own,” Sivadathan said. “Presently, tourists visiting Kochi including those who come by luxury cruise vessels, have to travel to Alappuzha to enjoy a backwater cruise.
Most of the cruise line passengers visit Kumbalangi and ask for houseboat services. It would be better if we can provide the facility in Kumbalangi itself. We have been getting queries from the domestic
tourists as well. We are focusing on cruise boat passengers and domestic tourists,” he said.
Meanwhile, V J Michael, a member of KMTDS, who runs a homestay in Kumbalangi has already launched a one-bedroom houseboat which offers service at comparatively cheap rate. Our charge for 24 hours is `5,000 and this includes food as well. We are mainly focusing on honeymoon couples. The bedroom has bath attached and also boasts of a kitchen. The boat is available on hourly basis as well,” Michael said. However, he said that the boat will not be conducting service beyond Perumpadappu. ‘’The boat will be plying in backwater in and around Kumbalangi only,” he said.]r in and around Kumbalangi only,” he said.
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Old April 6th, 2012, 11:52 AM   #67
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Kumbalangi will be sweet home away from home

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Having turned itself into a model tourism village, Kumbalangi is toying with the idea of setting up homesteads. Kumbalangi tourism village has already received international acclaim for its serene beauty and agrarian lifestyle. Broadly defined, homesteading is a lifestyle of simple self-sufficiency.

“Setting up of homesteads is proposed under the project ‘Sustainable Agri-village’,” said Kumbalangi Model Tourism Society president M P Sivdathan. “Homesteads is a concept jointly supported by the Department of Agriculture and the grama panchayat. The plan is to set up 100 homesteads in Kumbalangi before the next tourism season,” he added. He said that existing homes will be developed into homesteads.

“The plan is to familiarise tourists with the agrarian way of life. A tourist who is brought to a homestead will be provided with ethnic food. He is also allowed to take part in the preparation of the food. The food will be prepared with rice, vegetables and fruits which are organically produced in Kumbalangi,” he said. Apart from familiarising tourists with the rural life, the concept of homesteads also offer a means of income for local people who are ready to operate homesteads. We have tied up with some travel agencies for including the ‘Kumbalangi experience’ while marketing their tour packages,” he said.

Experience in homestead will be beneficial to tourists who have a short stay in Kochi, especially for those who reach Kochi on cruise vessels. They need not stay in Kumbalangi to experience the rural life. It is to be noted that Cochin Port Trust is among the ports that registers the highest numbers of calls from cruise vessels in India. Tourists on cruise vessels are already visiting Kumbalangi and the number is on the rise every season,” Sivadathan said.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 09:51 AM   #68
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Seaplane services to boost tourism
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Seaplane services from Kochi to Lakshadweep, proposed by the State government, will have a considerable impact on the tourism industry focussed on the islands. It will enhance connectivity among the islands as well as traffic between the islands and the mainland. The amphibian aircraft to be used for the operations could also be pressed into service in backwaters which would be an added attraction to domestic and foreign tourists.

The seaplane services have been running successfully in Male and several other parts of the world. The Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited and the administration of Andaman and Nicobar islands launched a joint venture seaplane services last year between Port Blair and Havelock islands, one of the major tourist attractions. The seaplane services were reportedly operated by the Japanese in the Andaman and Nicobar islands during the Second World War period.

A Kochi-based private aviation group had proposed the launch of seaplane services between Kochi and Lakshadweep a decade ago. The proposal, to operate a 10-seater amphibian aircraft, was approved by Ministry of Civil Aviation in 2001, according to the head of the aviation group, a pilot who wanted to remain anonymous.

The project could not be implemented due to the lack of support from the local administration, according to him. His services were later inducted by the authorities to prepare a feasibility study into the seaplane services in Andaman and Nicobar islands.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 11:57 AM   #69
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Chellanam set to lure with rustic charm!
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Sun-kissing beaches, stunning backwaters and the rustic charm of village life. If someone is looking to embark on a journey to romance the picturesque landscapes and fall in love with Chellanam, the District Tourism Promotional Council, in conjunction with the the Chellanam Agri-tourism Village, is all set to offer him/her an experience of a lifetime.

The much-awaited village tour package is expected to take off in Chellanam within a couple of weeks. Apart from the customary ‘tourist spots’, Chellam offers much more to those who want to drench themselves in the true spirit of Nature. The one-day package includes a ride through the paddy fields and the traditional fishing spots in the village. Also, the visitors will be taken to experience a rare insight into traditional labours like toddy tapping, boat making and choir making. “Once the accommodation facilities are set up, the tour will be extended to two or more days,” said the secretary of the Chellanam Agri-tourism Development Society, K V Johnson.
Chellanam shares borders with Kumbalangi, the first model tourism village in the country, and with the opening of the new project Chellanam is also expected to be a major tourist attraction in the Fort Kochi-Alapuzha tourism corridor.

“The tour will start from Kalathara-Kari island, a scenic strip of land at Chellanam facing the backwaters and mangroves. The tourists can have lunch and ideally spend around two hours here. They will be taken on country boats to the Kannamaly Church which is being developed into a tourist pilgrimage centre.

Pothencode beach is another spot where they can enjoy sea-bathing. The traditional copra making unit and the boat yard where small traditional canoes are made are the other major attractions. The trip will be concluded with a dinner, said the chairman of the tourism committee of the Agri-Development Society Sebastian Kochuparambil.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 10:41 AM   #70
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Navy to take back 'Sea-Hawk' aircraft at Changampuzha Park

To be set up near Venduruthy - Vikrant bridge


cc: Manorama
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Old April 14th, 2012, 01:04 PM   #71
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Sea Hawk Aircraft gets ready for a facelift
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The Sea Hawk fighter aircraft at Changampuzha Park in Edappally is likely to get a facelift soon. The plane had been left unattended for a long time and finally, Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) has taken the responsibility of its maintenance.
The Sea Hawk fighter aircraft, which saw service on board INS Vikrant, was presented to the people of Kochi in 1999.
Earlier, the park authorities had contacted the Navy to paint the showpiece and to maintain it. However, the Navy declined the request. The tussle between the Navy and the park authorities led to the neglect of the fighter aircraft.
Park authorities said that the Navy had given a facelift to the Sea Hawk around three years ago. However, it was GCDA which came up with a proposal of maintaining the aircraft.
“The plane is historically important. The aircraft was presented to the people of Kochi and we have to maintain it properly,” N Venugopal, chairman, GCDA. He said that the authority is even ready to move the aircraft to GCDA office compound. “We want its proper maintenance. GCDA would protect it if there is no one to take care of it,” he said.
A meeting of the Navy, Changampuzha park office-bearers and GCDA had been scheduled for Monday, where a concrete decision would be taken, said Venugopal.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 04:07 PM   #72
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Parks in Kochi await renovation
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A child enjoying an evening at Subhash Bose
park in Kochi


Kochi Corporation plans to ensure the upkeep of around 20% of the parks each year.

The 39 parks maintained by the Kochi Corporation will be renovated in a phased manner as part of the civic body's initiative to ensure the upkeep of parks and open spaces in the city.

The plan is to ensure the upkeep of around 20 per cent of the parks each year. The agency's budget had promised to renovate parks and attach libraries to many of them. It also spoke of how the ill-maintained Subhash Bose Park in the city and Nehru Children's Park in Fort Kochi would be renovated with private participation.

Kochi has fewer public and open spaces than other cities, since most of the land is in private hands. Still, the upkeep of many parks and open spaces owned by the corporation, GCDA and other agencies is far from satisfactory.

Referring to the urgent need to restore the Subhash Bose Park to its past glory, K.J. Sohan, the chairman of the agency's Town Planning Committee, said that it is among the few green lungs in the city which is also used for recreation. “We are not looking for heavy investment for its upkeep since it is a public space having interface with water (it abuts the backwaters). It has to be well maintained with walkways and trees that provide fresh air.”

The aim is to remodel all parks based on a theme that is in sync with each locality. Public comfort stations will be provided wherever possible, he said.

Most areas developed by the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) have parks and open spaces. An example is Panampilly Nagar, which has over half a dozen well-maintained parks. An estimate is being taken to renovate the GCDA's Changampuzha Park in Edapally. The agency's senior town planner V. Gopalakrishna Pillai said that private land developers too must emulate the GCDA. “They must ensure that their properties have standardised roads and open spaces. In cities like Chennai, approved layouts have plenty of open spaces and parks and they command a higher price than unapproved layouts.”

There are instances of real-estate developers purchasing vast areas of land, registering portions in different names to override norms that insist on ‘layout approval.' Though norms say that they must all have open spaces, some developers sell this area too to individuals for a premium.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 04:42 PM   #73
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Light & Sound show museum at Hill Palace

More facilities to be provided for tourists and separate facility for seminars.



cc: Mathrubhumi
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:05 AM   #74
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Yachting beckons kids this summer
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For most participants, it was a first time experience on a yacht, but they enjoyed it despite the heat and high winds.

Children enjoyed a different ambience after Kerala Watersports and Sailing Organization (KWSO) organized a summer yachting camp at the Sacred Heart College in Thevara. The backwater behind the college is the training ground for yachting enthusiasts.

"We will have three batches for children aged between 12-15 years over six days. For kids it is free, but adults will have to pay a small fee," said KWSO, Captain of Boats, Jolly Thomas. Thomas said the training period includes physical training, cleaning the yacht, swimming and boat handling.

"We divide the kids into groups and the stress is on swimming. Most of them have seen a swimming pool, but they aren't trained to swim in waters that have undercurrents. We give them a day's break as most kids are exhausted after a day in the sun," Thomas said.

He added that a second batch of 20 students will undergo training this week while another batch is being registered. "From our batch, we will select a few students and giving them intensive training from May 3 to May12 and later they will be given a chance to go for advanced training at Electronics, Mechanical and Engineers Sailing Association [EMESA] in Secunderabad from May 15-31," he said.

He added that ten students will be given an opportunity to participate in the National Inland Enterprise Championship [NIEC] at Khadakwasala, Pune organised by the NDA sailing club.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:05 PM   #75
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Children holidaying find park in a shambles
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A girl plays on a shaky bridge at Subhash park.

It is vacation time and parks are a favourite spot for children. But the Subhash Park at the centre of the city is in shambles.

The Kochi Corporation office lies a stone’s throw away, but the authorities have done little to ensure that playing equipment is in right shape for the children to have pleasant evenings.

“The park is spread over a vast area but most of the items have corroded. Portions of brick wall slides have come out and we have advised our students to be cautious.

We came here with great expectations but were disappointed,” said Selvaraj R, a teacher in a group from Tamil Nadu, on a tour to Kerala.

The small bridge set up for children too is in a dilapidated condition with the risk of children falling into the ground due to the slide position.

“In most other parks, the portion where the children lands from the equipment is filled with sand, so that children don’t get hurt. But here the ground is very rough,” says Durga K.S, a native of Panangad and mother of two.

Visitors also complain that half the lamps in the park are not working, not to say anything about the broken benches. The location may be eye-catchy but the stench of the canal on one side and polluted backwaters nearby are driving away visitors.

A Town Planning official said the corporation will implement a renovation project soon to make the park attractive.

“All these problems will be solved then. It will be reconstructed on a PPP-basis and is expected to be completed by December,”
he said.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 07:31 AM   #76
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Old April 25th, 2012, 08:01 AM   #77
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Tourism sails to coastal areas
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The winds seem to be just right for coastal tourism. For the past one month or so, coastal areas like Cherai, Vypin, Kuzhupilly and Munambam have been witnessing a slew of tourism-related festivals, ecotourism exhibitions, seminars and summer camps conducted with the help of local authorities.

The summer heat has given these tourism-related activities a huge impetus. "Anywhere in the world, summer is the best time to hit the beach. So, we planned to host offshore and backwater sports activities," said Suresh Pillai, secretary, Muziris Yachting Club.

The Muziris Yachting Club and Scuba Cochin will be holding a water sports camp at Munambam beach (36km from the city) from April 26 to May 2. Here one can learn swimming, yachting, scuba diving and kayaking for a fixed fee.

Apart from teaching those interested, the club will take free classes in scuba diving and swimming for children of local fishermen in order to make them self-reliant. These children can even double up as local coast guards at a later stage.Kovalam, Fort Kochi and Bekal were the coastal tourism hot spots in Kerala until 2011. K R Subash, president, Vypin block panchayat believes untouched beach spots in the district can offer domestic and international tourists a great break.

We have managed to develop the area as a local activity centre, inviting kite festivals, sports club and ecotourism melas, etc. Seeing our success, neighbouring coastal towns too have started organizing tourism-related activities," said Subash.

The Nayarambalam Village Beach Ecotourism Development Society in Vypin has been conducting tourism mela in April for the past three years.

Pallathamkulangara (30 km from Kochi) recently received Rs 46 lakh from the DTPC to develop Kuzhupilly beach in the area as a tourism destination. "The recognition is a great boost to our endeavours. We have been organizing a tourism seminar for the second consecutive year now, and local management students have been taking an active interest in it. Our aim is to make local citizens aware of the opportunities in tourism," said PJ Anirudhan, chairman, Panchayat Development Standing Committee.

It has been planned to develop the Kuzhupilly beach on the model of the Marina Beach in Chennai, Anirudhan told TOI.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 02:48 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Malayaali View Post
Navy to take back 'Sea-Hawk' aircraft at Changampuzha Park
Decision to shift 'Sea-Hawk' from Changampuzha park withdrawn

Navy to maintain the obsolete aircraft installed in the park


cc: Manorama
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Old April 25th, 2012, 07:42 PM   #79
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A haven of peace
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Thattekad is no stranger to visitors
. Located about 60 km from Kochi, the town nestled along the banks of the Periyar River receives both a variety of migrant birds and avid birders from different parts of the world.

The renowned Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary (now partially closed) is a haven for bird watching. Frogmouths, hornbills, drongos, minivets… you will spot these and more at Thattekad. The birding season in Thattekad runs between mid-August and February, with monsoon setting in during May, June and July.

The eco resort was located on the banks of Periyar river and amidst lush vegetation. Cormorants and kingfishers perched themselves on the dead branches protruding out on the river provided entertainment. Our expert guide took us hiking to Irulanthanny amidst the woods.

The highlight was sighting a frogmouth so well camouflaged that it looked like a piece of deadwood and learning that a racket-tailed drongo could mimic over 20 different sounds. If this was off-season, I wonder how many more birds I could have seen during the peak season! Thattekad is an ideal destination for a variety of tourists.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 02:36 AM   #80
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Seaplanes in Kochi backwaters soon
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For tourists who would want an extended siesta on Kerala's languid backwaters and still share a Kodak moment with the elusive Nilgiri Tahr at Top Station, here is some good news. Soon, seaplanes will take off from the backwaters in Kochi, Alappuzha and Kozhikode ferrying tourists to hilly enclaves like Munnar and Wayanad.

"The idea is to attract tourists who are now unable to complete their trip by road and rail, due to paucity of time and the distances involved. Today, it is difficult for the average tourist to see all the beautiful destinations right from north to south of Kerala in the span of a week," KM Chandrasekhar, vice-chairman of state planning board, told TOI.

Seaplanes are fixed wing aircraft capable of taking off and landing on water as well as land. Eight to 12-seater seaplanes are extensively used to carry tourists in countries like Maldives, Sri Lanka and Canada which are blessed with expansive inland water bodies.

Kerala State Infrastructure Development Corporation will now start developing facilities like jetties and small airstrips in select destinations across Kerala. The Rs 80-crore project will have a public-private partnership. "The KSIDC along with Kerala Tourism Development Corporation is preparing a project report, looking at business and tourism viability of each destination," a senior official involved with the project said.

State officials revealed that they have to take into consideration factors like aviation safety and flying expertise as many water bodies in Kerala are situated amidst thickly wooded areas and landing in water would be also be difficult because of tree stumps submerged under water.

"Kerala has a beautiful coastline and backwaters that are ideal for plying seaplanes. But our tourism industry has yet to take off like Goa because of bad roads and transport facilities. The seaplanes may reach out to destinations which were previously inaccessible to tourists," the official said.
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