SUBJECT :With water level falling considerably, boating at Thekkady Lake could be called off since tree stumps pose a threat to the boats. Now, the Forest Department and the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) offer boating services at the lake. 

If water level in the lake falls below 109 ft boating could be stopped.

Kerala, April 3, 2018: With water level falling considerably, boating at Thekkady Lake could be called off since tree stumps pose a threat to the boats. Now, the Forest Department and the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) offer boating services at the lake.

The water level has reached below 112.7 ft and when it falls to 109 ft, boating could be stopped. The ecotourism programmes in the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR), which had been stopped in the wake of the Kurangini wildfire accident in Munnar, were relaunched on March 29. Now trekking and camping are allowed for tourists in select areas. However, deep forest camping is still banned. An official of the Forest Department on Monday said that chances of wildfire were few as dried grasslands were limited in the PTR. Unlike other forests, the intrusion of wild animals in search of fodder and water is rarely reported in the PTR as the lake is the main water source for the wild animals.

If there was no summer rainfall, chances of water level dipping further was high, said the official. Boating in Thekkady Lake is the main attraction for tourists. Tourism business was much affected after the ban on ecotourism programmes, said Praveen, who runs an antique shop on the Kumily-Thekkady road. However, there was a good inflow of tourists during the Easter holidays.

Normally, tourism activities gather momentum with the start of the school vacation, said a hotel staff. For over a year, tourists had been avoiding staying at Thekkady, returning after a day’s sightseeing. He said this impacted hotels and homestays not only on the Kumily-Thekkady road but also those in and around Kumily. Once boating was stopped, the tourist inflow could further dip.

Kumily town is entirely dependent on tourism in Thekkady. Boating was cancelled last year after the water level fell below 109 ft.


Source: The Hindu