Tourism has lost steam with a dip in footfall
When it started raining on July 15, Sasiamma, 61, noticed nothing unusual. On the evening of July 17, she was sitting on the verandah of her newly constructed house at Kuttamangalam in Kuttanad, watching rising water levels in the outer bund of the Paruthivalavu paddy polder, when she heard a bang and in no time water engulfed her house .
Sasiamma, a widow, was forced to take refuge first in a relief centre and then in a relative’s home.
A month later, a second, more devastating deluge struck. She continues to live in the relative’s house expecting financial aid from the government. “All I have received till date is a sum of ₹10,000,” Sasiamma told
Sheeba Mol and nine of her relatives belonging to three families are living on the rooftop of a homoeo dispensary in Pandanad near Chengannur after their houses were damaged in floods. “Although, the panchayat has allotted six cents of land to two of my siblings, the place is waterlogged and it is not possible to build a house there,” she says.
Backwater tourism, a mainstay of the region, has lost steam with an alarming dip in tourist footfall.
According to K. Vijayan, secretary, All Kerala Houseboats Owners Associations, only 10% of houseboats are conducting services on an average.
A change in scenario is unlikely anytime soon, he says.