ALAPPUZHA: The high levels of pollution in the Vembanad backwaters have often been blamed on motorised houseboats in the lake. However, a new initiative of the Alleppey Tourism Development Co-operative Society (ATDC) could help reduce pollution levels in the waterbody.
The ATDC will launch a traditional houseboat propelled by oarsmen manually using long poles of bamboo, reports The Hindu.
It will be inaugurated by Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran at the Kanjipadam tourism terminal on November 4.
The traditional houseboat is being launched towards the end of year-long celebrations marking the silver jubilee of houseboat cruising in the district.
“The first houseboat service in Alappuzha was introduced by the ATDC on November 15, 1991. Then, houseboats were operated manually using bamboo poles. However, changing times and entry of new players saw traditional boats being replaced by mechanised boats. But of late, there is demand especially from foreign tourists for non-motorised boats, steered in the conventional way. By relaunching traditional houseboats, we think our small effort could help in reducing pollution in the lake and set in motion a departure to good old days,” said T.G. Reghu, secretary, ATDC.
The ATDC houseboat is furnished with an open lounge, bath-attached air-conditioned bedrooms, and other amenities.