People are rushing in large numbers to Ambattukadavu at Puthuppally in Kottayam district to behold the stunning sight of pink water lilies as the season of blooming is over at the paddy fields in Malarikkal, Thiruvarppu.
Even though the scenery at Ambattukadavu is a feast for the eyes, several visitors to the area had a bitter experience recently as they were fined by the police. The fines were mostly imposed on people who reached Panachikkad Ambattukadavu and Eravinalloor Karothukadavu as did not follow COVID-19 protocols. The police have also increased checking in these areas after local residents complained about crowds.
Each violation of an assembly of more than five people, lack of social distancing and absence of masks invited a fine of Rs 200. “We did not restrain people from enjoying the sight of water lilies. Instead, those who formed crowds in violation of the rules and did not maintain social distancing norms were booked,” said Bince Joseph, station house officer at Chingavanam police station.
“Action will be taken against visitors who violate COVID-19 protocols in the coming days also. Moreover, we have learnt that the panchayat is yet to allow tourism-related activities in the area,” he added
K Anil Kumar, coordinator of the Meenachilar-Meenanthayar river project, made things more clear. According to him, “The Kerala government has allowed tourism to resume only in areas where visitors are given entry with a pass. As Ambattukadavu and Malarikkal do not belong to this category of tourism destinations, the relaxation in COVID-19-related curbs does not apply here.”