West Coast Canal in Kerala All Set to Be a Water-Highway

Keralas West Coast Canal project, traversing through 11 districts, is being transformed into a tourism hub
A houseboat on the backwaters
A houseboat on the backwaters

Kerala&rsquos West Coast Canal project traversing through 11 districts is all set to be a tourism water-highway. The main 633 km West Coast Canal (WCC) arterial waterway in the state is being made navigable to allow seamless transportation for people and cargo.

The canal will be constructed with the specification of the National Waterways to give a major fillip to inland backwater tourism in Kerala. The water-highway is expected to reduce the pressure on the road networks and provide tourists with the opportunity to cruise through the ancient water highways.

Around 50 tourism spots will be created along the banks of the WCC corridor from Kovalam in the south to Kasaragod in the north with the involvement of local bodies. Kerala&rsquos new eco-friendly and fuel-efficient mode of transportation corridor will also help local artisan communities in promoting the state&rsquos handicrafts, folk arts, local cuisine, and culture.

The government aims to connect the existing canal network with the rest of the state by making a 53-km-long artificial canal in Malabar. The goal is to support tourism that will benefit entrepreneurs and local communities as they expect 20 lakh foreign tourists and 3.65 crores domestic tourists by 2025.

There are plans to involve local communities in promoting cleanliness, following green protocols, and finding solutions for waste generated by houseboats using modern technology.

In February, had launched the Malanad-Malabar River Cruise project, aimed at attracting tourists to less-explored waterways in the regions of Kannur and Kasaragod.

The first cruise-boat ride was in two districts of Kannur - Parassinikkadavu, and Pazhayangadi. According to Kerala Tourism, the river cruise project will explore lesser-known waterways and showcase the rich culture, art, and local traditions of the region. These cruises will be covering seven rivers in Kannur and Kasaragod regions with 48 boat terminals and jetties. They will be centred around different themes, there's one on mangroves, another focusing on music, others on handloom and handicrafts of the state, water sports, and even a yakshagana cruise.

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