Once a haven for tourists, Thommankuthu tourist centre reels under financial crisis
Thodupuzha: The captivating Thommankuthu Falls was once the major attraction for tourists in Idukki district. A seven-step waterfall cascading down to form a pool at the bottom is tucked away inside a forest, making it an ideal spot for trekking and sightseeing.
However, all these were in the past. The tourist spot has been shut for the past six months with the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. The most affected are the employees at the tourism centre. It was closed on March 10.
Though the government gave green signal to open ecotourism centres in state, the authorities decided not to open in the wake of increasing Covid cases.
With this, the tourist guides, forest conservation committee members and those who depend on the tourism centre for livelihood are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Some have taken up other daily wage works.
Though a petition was submitted to Kothamangalam DFO to provide them financial aid as temporary relief, it was not considered. Forest conservation committee members had demanded to provide aid from the profit obtained from running the eco shop here. Committee president Abubackar also demanded to grant Rs 5000 as relief to tourist guides.
Meanwhile, forest department authorities said that the tourist centre will be opened only when Covid pandemic subsides. They also said that it was the DFO who should decide on granting financial help to employees.