In the midst of the ongoing relief efforts in Kodagu, Deputy Commissioner PI Sreevidya has directed all tourist services to discontinue operations till August 31. Hotels, resorts, lodges, home stays and tourist homes have been asked to cancel bookings till August 31.
The directive from the district administration comes in the wake of extensive flooding and landslides caused due to torrential rains in the region.
“The landslides and flooding is unpredictable in the region. In such unstable circumstances, it is dangerous to pass through the fragile roads. In the best interest of the welfare of the tourists, we hereby order that all private establishments should cancel tourist accommodation and related arrangements,” the order said.
The district, which has a population of 5.5 lakh, recently faced unprecedented rainfall measuring 204.4 mm until August 16. Flood alerts had been sounded earlier in the district after the reservoir of the Cauvery basin crossed dangerous levels.
The rains have already claimed the lives of over ten people, according to official sources. Hundreds of people are reportedly stranded on top of the hills, awaiting help from rescuers. Besides state agencies the government has already authorised the Army, Navy and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to carry rescue efforts in the region. Over 3,500 people have reportedly already been brought to safe zones (safety shelters) by rescue officials, while the government agencies are trying to restore electricity, communication and roads, and mobilise supplies to the affected people.
Kodagu, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state, is the apple of the eye of the Karnataka tourism department. Surrounded by hills, greenery, coffee estates, with a unique culture and cuisine, the region draws a wide array of visitors every year. According to the Clean Coorg Initiative (CCI), in 2017 alone the district had a footfall of over 12 lakh visitors.
Rough estimates suggest that over 3,000 private business establishments catering to the needs of tourists from the district are going to be affected as the relief efforts continue in the region.
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