Pilikula all set to chant green mantra

Pilikula all set to chant green mantra

Pilikula all set to chant green mantra

Pilikula Nisargadhama is all set to chant the green mantra with its eco-friendly infrastructure, writes Sandhya C D’Souza.

Pilikula Nisargadhama is already a role model in conserving biodiversity and the cultural heritage of the Coastal and Western Ghat region.

It has now become one of the major tourist destinations of Coastal Karnataka. However, a well developed infrastructure is crucial in increasing the competitiveness and success of the tourism hub.

Pilikula has developed basic infrastructure such as water supply, sanitation and lighting to a limited extent.

However, a lot more investment in terms of circulation network, visitor centers, information centres, parking signage, visitor amenities, internal transport etc are required. Pilikula is all set to upgrade its infrastructure and make the destination top-class.

Eco-friendly transport

With an aim to make Pilikula a smoke-free zone, the Nisargadhma management has proposed to acquire and maintain an adequate number of electric or battery operated buggies to ferry tourists to and fro.

A nominal charge would be levied, valid for the whole day on hop on and hop off basis. The buggy being easy to operate, virtually silent with zero emissions is a convienient and comfortable alternative. The buggies can accommodate as many as 8 to 14 people.

Those who do not want to opt for buggies and want to tour Pilikula at their own leisure, then a bicycle hiring system is proposed as an alternative.

Hiring options for one day, half day and hourly basis may be available.

Bicycle racks and shelters for parking and securing bikes would be provided at all important circulation nodes.

A separate cycling lane may also be constructed to allow the cyclists to ride in peace.

Speaking to City Herald, Pilikula Nisargadhama Executive Director J R Lobo reveals that the internal transport network will cover the entire Pilikula Nisargadhama campus which is around 300 acres.

Apart from these transport systems, there are plans to use horse-ridden carriages and bullock carts for transport.

“These transport systems will match the ethnic theme of the upcoming heritage villages ‘Janapada Loka’. This attraction will give tourists an unique experience,” adds Lobo.

Watershed management

“We want to conserve water, hence, rainwater harvesting through holding ponds, infiltration pits and dedicate storm water channels shall be considered to ensure lake sustenance and recharge of ground water,” says Lobo.

Check dams and mechanical measures to check soil erosion due to storm water run-off shall be constructed wherever necessary, he adds.

Waste management

There are plans to make Pilikula a ‘litter-free’ and ‘plastic-free’ zone, says Lobo and adds that the Nisargadhama shall pro-actively discourage the use of non-degradable materials and bio-degradable waste will be recycled and used as manure.

Awareness programmes on ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ will be conducted periodically, use of eco-friendly materials such as banana leaves, leaf plates and cups will be encouraged, effective signage and adequate litter bins shall be provided at various locations, he said.

Mechanised systems for garbage handling, cleaning and maintenance of the campus may be considered at the appropriate phase of development.

Grey-water (from kitchens and toilets) shall be treated and re-used.

“Pilikula already has a sewage treatment plant (STP) in place for treating waste for further use. As the volume of sewage generated would be higher when the proposed developments are completed, the capacity of the STP would be reviewed and upgraded as and when required,” said Lobo.

Other initiatives

To make the campus people-friendly, drinking water fountains, information kiosks, directions will be put up.

The upcoming buildings shall be responsive to climate and designed to maximise daylight and ventilation in order to minimise energy use.
Emphasis would be placed on the use of intrinsically low-energy/eco-friendly materials for buildings, says Lobo.

“The infrastructure developments may come up at a cost of Rs 60 lakh. The Central government has already sanctioned a part of the fund under the destination development programme.

We shall also submit a proposal to the state government for funds. We are hopeful to upgrade the infrastructure within a span of 18 months,” says Lobo.

“With this kind of development, Pilikula will be a tourist destination of national repute.

There is an immense need to promote nature and have such destinations as it shall channelise the energy of the people in a positive way, hence decreasing the crime rate,” concludes Lobo.

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