Admitting the district administration’s failure to promote tourism in a district rich with natural resources, Deputy Commissioner S. Sasikanth Senthil on Monday said it would launch five or six small projects that do so immediately.
At a media interaction organised by Dakshina Kannada Union of Working Journalists, he said cost-intensive projects take time and hence the administration would take up small, impacting projects.
It intends to promote two corridor — Tannirbhavi and Netravati riverfront — projects in the initial stages. The recently concluded river festival on the Phalguni (Gurupura) off Tannirbhavi was a success. The road from Kulur till Bengre would sport a new look with various tourist attractions, he noted.
The tree park by the Forest Department at Tannirbhavi has had a positive impact with the stretch, secluded till three years ago, was now teaming with people, he said. Similarly, the Netravati front from Bunder till Netravati Bridge has tourism potential. The administration plans to develop the same.
Senthil said the administration is not for complete commercialisation of places of tourist interest to avoid their being away from local population. Instead, it believed in developing both tourism and the city as an inherent part of landscape.
The DC said the 23 acre government land at Bangra Kulur where the festival was conducted would be developed comprehensively. It would be utilised to conduct various tourism-related activities in the coming days. The place could be utilised for tenting activities in the off-season, he said.
Responding to queries on the proposed hanging bridge across Phalguni connecting Sultan Bathery and Tannirbhavi, Senthil said he was trying to get it done under the Smart City project. The structure should not be a simple bridge, but a landmark along the lines of the Westminster Bridge.
Dakshina Kannada district too had received an invitation to get its beaches developed to meet international standards under the Beach Management Services on the lines of Padubidri in Udupi district. However, the district proposed to develop two beaches, Someshwara and Surathkal, for Blue Flag standards where no government land was available, according to members of Tourism Core Committee. When the administration revised the proposal recommending Tannirbhavi and Sasihithlu beaches, it was too late, they said.
Senthil said civil society should demand its rights and pressurise the administration to have adequate facilities.
Forest trekking paths
The Forest Department is developing two forest trekking tracks, one abutting Mangaluru-Bengaluru National Highway 75 and the other near Kukke Subrahmanya. Range Forest Officer Sridhar said the plan was to dissuade people from randomly entering forests to trek, either on Shiradi Ghat or at Kumara Parvatha near Kukke Subrahmanya. The tracks would be around 2 km long, he added.