Change of look and role for natural resort

Change of look and role for natural resort

 The new year will bring in a pleasant change for Soolekere, as the Karnataka government has made plans to declare the lake as a tourist spot. Soolekere has long enjoyed the reputation of being a natural vista in the district.

The Tourism Department has granted Rs five crore to beautify the lake area and improve local infrastructure to support tourism. The Department’s initiative has many tourists crowing. At the present time, however, those who wish to travel to the lake have to contend with poor roads, a lack of mass-transit and other woefully negligent amentities in the area.

Under the local legislator’s development scheme, a tourist bungalow with at least 10 rooms, will be constructed at a cost of Rs 1.15 crore. In addition, 10 different stalls will be opened along 650 metres of the lake front, to satisfy the shopping needs of tourists. In addition, work on sidewalks, gardens, parking, boating piers, street lights, railings, pitching, bus stand, site development, chain-link wiring, weaving deck, paving, toilets are already completed.

Water sports

Boating has been started on an experiment basis at the lake. Nagaraj, the deputy director of the Tourism department explained that Soolekere, which is a major attraction in Central Karnataka, will be a good place to organise State and National-level water sports, including boating and swimming.

“This would be an added tourism advantage for visitors. Water sports will thrive at Soolekere in future. Other entertainment programmes will also be organised here. But the Tourism Department will not organise any of the sports. The responsibility will be handed to private organisations,” he said.

Once the basic infrastructure has been built, the responsibility of managing Soolekere will be handed over to the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation, he explained.

Fishermen’s livelihood

Many people at Soolekere have expressed fears that the local fishing industry will be hit after the lake turns into a tourist destination. In response to these fears, Raghavendra, the deputy director of the District Fisheries department assured the fishermen that they had no cause for worry.

“The changes due to occur at Soolekere will not affect the livelihood of fishermen who wholly depend on the lake,” he said. “The fishing on the lake is not commercial. Also, fish are reared in the water every year to sustain the dependent families. This would be continued, regardless of the development of tourism.”

He expressed the opinion  that Soolekere’s transformation as a tourist spot will only  benefit fishermen.

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