Idukki beckons monsoon lovers: How safe are its tourist spots?

Many spots in Idukki can be trecherous if tourists are not cautious enough. Representative image/Shutterstock/CHE SURJITH

The monsoon season in Idukki is quite special as the cold rain showers embrace the beautiful hills and valleys. The lush green forests and the scintillating waterfalls don a mesmerizing radiance during the rains, luring tourists from all over the country to the district.

Being an extremely 'Instagrammable' region, people also throng Idukki to capture cool videos and pictures, and to enjoy various adventure activities it offers. 

The district has some amazing waterfalls too. But, many of these spots can be trecherous if the tourist is not cautious enough. Many spots can be dangerous due to lack of sufficient safety features and warning signs, as well as carelessness of tourists.

Let's investigates how safe Idukki's tourist spots are, as monsoon tourism gathers momentum here.

The treacherous waters of Anjuruli
Visitors need to be extra careful as monsoon time can be dangerous in Anjuruli. The soil beneath the pillars of the safety fences, on the mud path leading to the tunnel entrance, has eroded.

Giant holes too have formed on the ground here. As there are no safety fences near the waterfalls, tourists may climb the slippery rocks which can lead to accidents.

Even though fences were built here before, they were washed away in the strong currents.

Tourists are curious to explore the tunnel when the flow into the tunnel reduces. However, accidents could happen inside the tunnel due to its slippery ground, pits and lack of proper lighting. The walk way that leads to the tunnel from the parking area too is severely damaged. Walking through this path is also quite precarious as it is filled with sharp and uneven stones.

Be careful at Cheeyapara and Valara
The highway authorities haven’t been able to arrange any safety features near the Cheeyapara and Valara waterfalls on the Kochi – Dhanushkodi national highway. Giant chasms have formed on the filling side of the road. Lots of people could be seen clicking selfies and pictures at this spot.

Earlier, a tourist had fallen and sustained injuries while clicking pictures near the Valara waterfalls. When the rains become stronger, the parapet built as part of the safety wall becomes mouldy and slippery. In such situations, the authorities should arrange safety features including sturdy fences for the tourists to enjoy these beautiful spots.

Preparations at Munnar, Ramakkalmedu
Authorities say the safety features at Ramakkalmedu would be enhanced if the rains and wind gather strength. However, now, the area enjoys moderate rainfall and gentle winds.

The authorities at the DTPC said that arrangements would be made to regulate and observe the tourists in case the rains become stronger. They claim warning signs and boards would be installed at the areas that are prone to accidents.

As for Munnar, a meeting of the disaster management committee is expected to be held soon to discuss the various measures to be taken when the monsoon gathers strength in the region. They say aid groups would be put in place for emergency situations. 

Private tourism spots
The DTPC has made proper arrangements at the Sreenarayanapuram Ripple Waterfalls, which is a major tourism centre in Muthirapuzha River, for the tourists to enjoy the beautiful sceneries safely. This place is famous for its incredibly beautiful five waterfalls.

A long pavilion has been built for the tourists to see the waterfall closely. Meanwhile, the zipline ride across the river would be loved by adventure enthusiasts. Tourists could also enjoy fish spa here.

Fencing has been installed at all the main points, from the entrance area onwards, to ensure the visitors’ safety. Those who are interested in taking a dip in the cool waters would be led to safe spots by the trained guides. Three washrooms, separate dressings areas for men and women and two rest areas too have been arranged here.

However, there are also private tourism centres that operate near these areas without arranging proper safety features. The water level rises significantly in the Muthirapuzha River during the monsoon leading to cases of drowning and other accidents.

Awareness programmes
Lack of enough safety officers, warning boards, fences and barricades would affect the safety of the tourists.

Secretaries of various panchayats, DTPC secretary, tourism deputy director, officials at the forest department, KSEBL deputy chief engineer and district hydel tourism officer on special duty have been entrusted to conduct emergency inspections at the tourist centres and to install warning boards, safety fences and to appoint security personnel wherever required.

Besides, the tourism deputy director has been asked to conduct awareness programs among the tourists about the potential dangers at these spots and also about the precautions that need to be taken to enjoy a safe holiday. 

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