JLR looks towards the sun to light up its cottages

Rs 4.57-cr project to tap solar energy submitted to govt: JLR chairman

All 21 units of Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) in the state will get solar lamps, if the government has its way.

Chairman of JLR A N Mahesh on Thursday said that a proposal for Rs 4.57 crore has been submitted to the government, to tap solar energy to connect all cottages of JLR in the state. The work will be taken up in association with the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL).

Mahesh, who recently took charge of the new role and inspected various tourist spots in the region, said that he has to develop the district as an ecotourism hub. Funds of Rs 2.01 crore are being used to provide boating facility and water sports at Ayyana Kere, with rest rooms, canteen and toilet.

The 3.5-km road connecting Seethalayanagiri and Mullayanagiri is also being developed at a cost of Rs four crore. The government has already sanctioned Rs two crore for the work.

Private vehicle ban

The district tourism committee has already decided to ban entry of private vehicles at Mullayanagiri. The tourists will be taken around the tourist spots in vehicles belonging to forest or tourism department. The other plans include view point and watch tower, coffee shop near the temple, rest room for security personnel.

Mahesh said, some of the works are also undertaken using the Rs 33-lakh grants released to the district development committee, while the government has promised additional Rs 20 lakh funds. The 3-km stretch of road from Inam Gurudattatreya Bababudan Swamy Dargah to Manikyadhara will be developed at a cost of Rs two crore.

Ecotrails

He also announced that three ecotrails have been sanctioned to the district, with Mullayanagiri, Mutthodi and Bhagavati in Kudremukh identified for the purpose. The Forest Department has the job of identifying safe routes for the trail, promising a walk amid nature to savour the beauty of rich bio-diversity.

JLR has taken a guest house of the Forest Department at Bhagavathi into its possession and been renovating it. Tents are being put up, while a proposal has been submitted to the government to launch safari at Mutthodi, following a demand from homestay promoters in the vicinity.

He also exuded confidence that JLR was ready to offer services on corporate lines if the guest house at Kemmannugundi is handed over to the board. Both Tourism and Horticulture departments are indulging in a tug-of-war to take over the same.

The board has asked the Forest Department to hand over Malayamarutha in Mudigere taluk, that is currently lacking maintenance. The government has also been requested to start jungle lodges and resort at Malayamarutha. A detailed project report (DPR) to give a traditional touch to Mahatma Gandhi Garden at Ratnagiri at a cost of Rs 10 crore is ready, it has been proposed to erect a hanging bridge at Dubare in Kodagu.

Udupi and Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje has forwarded a proposal to connect Mullayanagiri and Manikyadhara with a ropeway. It sounds in tune with the development of tourism, which would be considered after taking into count, the impact if any on the peaks in the region and also the forest area.

Mahesh said that JLR had a Rs 50-crore turnover per annum and net revenue of Rs eight crore, with 560 staff on board.

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