Iritty: The Aralam Eco tourism project which was announced two years back haven’t been started yet. It was aimed at protecting the varied biodiversity and conserving the tribal art forms in the place. The anticipated cost of the project was Rs 20 crore which also included a tribal museum. The project report for this was prepared then by the tourism department.
The tourism department said that the project invited wide opposition from tribal organizations which halted its work. Also many criticized that the preliminary works relating to the project was began with no basic study about its adversities and merits.
The authorities did not take any action to resolve the anxieties raised by the tribal organizations. The Aralam project could be the best eco tourism project after Thenmala if the authorities come out of their cold stance.
The project report was prepared when Rathan Kelkar served as the district collector. The eco tourism project was announced as part of including the Aralam farm in the district tourism circuit.
In the 20-acre land in the Aralam farm, a herbal garden, amusement park, folk theatre, tribal handicraft exhibition-cum-sale, water rides, butterfly garden, bullock cart safari and restaurant were planned as part of the project. The tourism department and backward communities development department had planned to jointly work towards collecting the fund for the project.
The project was approved by the government, still opposition from various other parts stood on the way of its progress. Many observed that with the implementation of the project, the traditional lifestyle of the tribes would be affected. But the authorities never answered these complaints.
The region where the project was implemented does not have any connection with the tribal villages around. It is situated on the way to Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary.
Large number of tourists visit the wildlife sanctuary every day. The visitors are regulated by strict conditions. The project if implemented would also be a platform to showcase the tribal art forms.