Express News Service
PERAMBALUR: September 27 marks World Tourism Day, but the lack of access and basic amenities at public attractions in Perambalur district has forced even locals to shun them and visit nearby districts instead to unwind.
Though home to Ranjankudi Fort, Sathanur fossil park, Mayil Ootru waterfalls and the Visvakudi and Kottarai dams, save for the Siruvachur Mathurakali Amman temple, none of the other spots attract a large number of tourists owing to a lack of basic amenities, including toilets, benches, lighting and drinking water facilities.
Locals also bring up the long-pending demand of throwing open the museum and children’s park near the famous Sathanur fossil park that was completed ten years ago.
S Ragavan, a social activist, said, “Ranjankudi Fort is a historic fort and situated just a kilometre away from the Chennai-Tiruchy national highway. Although the archaeology department is carrying out some beautification work inside the fort, there are no basic facilities for tourists. The situation is similar at Sathanur fossil park and at Mayil Ootru waterfalls. The district administration should improve facilities and set up information boards on their history.”
He also rued the lack of adequate transport facilities to the tourist spots.
M Velmurugan, a resident of Perambalur, said, “There are some tourist spots in the district. However, the district administration has not taken any action to improve them for years. We are thus forced to visit tourist spots in the nearby Tiruchy district once a week or monthly to relax. It makes us tired and costs more.”
“The district administration should improve tourist spots in the district, appoint guides and hold several programmes to attract tourists. They should also bring school and college students here and raise awareness on the area’s history,” he added.
History enthusiast L Thiyagarajan said, “First of all, a tourist information centre and a map should be placed at Perambalur bus stand so that everyone can know the tourist spots in the district.” The district administration has to facilitate separate transportation to visit the tourist spots, which will help increase footfall, he added.
When contacted, District Tourism Officer T Jegadeeswari said, “We are ready to improve the tourist spots in the district. Other departments should cooperate and send us a proposal on where the basic facilities are needed.”