BY A CORRESPONDENT
October 16, 2006
When you are in Kerala during the next tourist season, don’t be surprised if you spot wayside shelters at every 20 km stretch. For, the Kerala
Tourism department has embarked on a unique project to
construct wayside eateries and relaxation points across
the state on every highway.
Tourist centres, to be called Vazhiyoram centres, woud come up along highways, waterways and major roads that connect important destinations by the beginning of the next year.
According to the tourism department, Vazhiyoram centres would ensure that travellers can park their vehicles for a break at the restaurants, mini shopping spots and rest rooms.
An interesting aspect about Vazhiyoram centres is that the Tourism department would only play facilitator in the business. It will be private entrepreneurs wh would construct the way side centres . However, a standardized design and uniform branding would be in place.
Vazhiyoram centres will be divided into three levels based on the facilities available. The class I centres will be constructed on 20 cents of land on an investment of Rs 25 lakh. These centres will house a restaurant of a minimum capacity of 30 persons, telephone booth, souvenir shop, parking space for a minimum of 8 cars, 4 paid toilets, two bathrooms and an internet café.
The class II centre will be built on an investment of Rs 17. 5 lakh, on an area of 20 cents of land. These centres will house a restaurant similar to the class I restaurant, parking space for 4 cars, souvenir shop and 2 paid toilets. The class II centre will be built on 10 cents of land on an investment of Rs 12.5 lakh. They will house a coffee shop, souvenir shop, 2 paid toilets and parking space for 2 cars.
According to reports from he Keraa capital, the concept of Vazhiyoram centres have caught the the fascination of the
Union Toursm department too and it is a possibility that the Centre would implement the concept across the country soon.