Sparse crowds at tourist spots in Palakkad  10/18/2020 17:29:26 

Inflow of local tourists is yet to pick up at major destinations such as Malampuzha, Kanhirapuzha, and Nelliampathy in the district.

Malampuzha garden, one of the busiest tourist spots in the State, saw a sparse crowd on Sunday. The crowds at Kanhirapuzha and Pothundi parks too were thin.

Malampuzha used to witness the heaviest turnout of people on Sundays before it was closed down as part of the COVID-19 lockdown. A number of people from Tamil Nadu used to visit Malampuzha, which was rated as one of the hottest destinations for school picnics in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Although the tourist spots reopened on Friday, there were several restrictions. At Malampuzha, the childrens park remained closed and people were allowed entry into the main park. Other areas, including the dam, remained closed for the public.

Phased reopening

Officials said the public would be given entry to other areas in a phased manner. Boating will be restarted after a few days, they said. Handwash and hand sanitising were made compulsory, and tourists were allowed inside after scanning them for temperature. There was a one-hour time limit for tourists inside the Malampuzha garden and they were advised against crowding.

Although Tipus Fort or Palakkad Fort was opened for the public a few weeks ago, it too has been witnessing a sparse turnout. Fort authorities have stopped issuing on-the-spot entry tickets. Visitors have largely been deterred by the online ticketing system launched by the Archaeological Survey of India that manages the fort.

Authorities said they expected an increase in the number of visitors in the coming days.

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