Kumarakom Panchayat and Tourism
|The Kumarakom Panchayat actively monitors the Responsible Tourism programme-related projects. On occasion, the Grama Sabhas and the NHGs discusses ecological problems arising out of the unscientific methods of tourism development.
Few years back, the Panchayat members brought forth a People’s Charter and Draft Guidelines on Sustainable Tourism, to address the concerns raised by local groups and individuals on the impact of tourism on Kumarakom.
It demanded the preparation of a master plan for tourism development within the Panchayat’s area of jurisdiction. The Panchayat also came out with restrictions on new tourism-related construction and increased checks on the exploitation of common resources. It also demanded that the tourism activities in the area should be envisaged in such a manner that it gives direct or indirect job opportunities for the villagers.
The conservation of the environment and the economic and social development of the local people had to be taken into account in any tourism developmental plan, the charter demanded. It also asked for the creation of an expert committee to look after the tourism development activities within the Panchayat and envisaged a comprehensive role for such a committee, starting from the conceptualisation to the planning and the monitoring phases of a project.
In continuation of the efforts of the Panchayat in ensuring socially responsible tourism, a Functional Committee was set up in Kumarakom to plan, participate in and monitor tourism-related activity in the area.