Udupi, Dec 01, 2017: Udupi District-in-Charge Minister Pramod Madhwaraj stressed that eco-tourism will be promoted in the district to realise the tourism potential besides safeguarding the interest of the environment.
Speaking after inaugurating the eco-tourism initiatives on St Mary’s Island, the minister said that the initiatives are taken for responsible travel norms ensuring discipline and promoting eco-tourism. The island was neglected since many years although it is significant for ancient rock formation. The columnar rocks in St Mary’s are unique which is only found in African islands.
Plastics : He added that use of plastics would be strictly banned and all possible measures would be taken to avoid garbage accumulation. In 2016, the island was declared as zero waste island and beach development committee was directed to take up initiatives in this directions. Rs 80 lakh was spent on building toilets and gazebos in the initial phase. The CRZ and archeological restrictions were taken care of, Madhwaraj said.
The minister stressed on curbing the commercialisation of the area and added that the travellers should be charged economically use of facilities. The price should be put up so that all are aware and consumers interest is safe guarded. Mantra, company which is in-charge, should be working on safe and eco-friendly stay in the island and it has to pay Rs 56 lakh every year for the Beach Development Committee.
The fund would be utilised to maintain the Island. He urged the visitors to maintain the sanctity of the place similar to that of worship places in terms of pollution-free ambiance. He added that any sort of illegal activity in the area will be sternly dealt with.
Rs 17.25 lakh worth projects were inaugurated on the occasion. The projects include 4.25 lakh worth waiting lounge, while another Rs 13 lakh worth safety equipment, water and power supply and sports equipment and wireless material respectively.