Udupi, July 07, 2017: It is reported that in the span of a few months, enjoying the thrill of deep sea fishing, exploring the underwater life through snorkelling and enjoying a camp fire at night on the picturesque St. Mary’s Island, which is 6.5 km off Malpe Beach could be areality.
This liesure reserve island is famous for its basaltic rock formations jutting out in hexagonal and other shapes. It has been declared a national geological monument by the Geological Survey of India.
A prime vantage point on the island accessible to tourists through a boat service only during September to May, except monsoons and days when the sea is rough. The island receives a footfall of around 400 persons during weekdays, which doubles or even triples during weekends.
The Malpe Development Committee will, along with a private agency, provide more facilities at St. Mary’s Island. Already, jet skiing, speed boats and banana rafting facilities are available.
The island will now get a green cover with an eco-park where medicinal plants and local flora will be grown. As many as 50 almond saplings, 60 coconut saplings, along with saplings of mango and fig, were planted recently. Arrangements would be made to transport 10,000 litres of drinking water daily to the Island, which would then be reused to water these saplings.
For adventure enthusiasts, deep sea fishing, cliff jumping, kayaking and snorkelling facilities will be provided. “We will make provisions for camp fire at night. The real beauty of St. Mary’s Island can been seen from 4 p.m. to 9 a.m., when people can see the sunset and also the sunrise,” said Sudesh Shetty, owner of the private agency in charge of tourism promotion on the island.
Plastic and outside food items will not be allowed to reduce garbage. Nearly 150 tonnes of garbage have been cleared from the island in the last two years. The food court would be improved and plates of arecanut leaves and steel tumblers will be used.
Three trails would be created on the island — Shell beach, boulder beach and jewel beach. At the jewel beach, tourist could collect coloured stones which get washed away.
Six huts, solar lamps, a waiting lounge, a first aid room, a luggage room and a souvenir room would be constructed with temporary building material. All these works will begin in September and will be completed by the first week of October.
“We want to provide more amenities to tourists but it will all be eco-friendly,” said Anitha B.R., Assistant Director of Tourism.