Tamil Nadu Tourism Minister K. Ramachandran on Tuesday said the government was involved in talks with private companies and examining opportunities to run helicopter trips from Coimbatore to the Nilgiris.
Speaking to reporters at the Government Botanical Garden in Udhagamandalam, the Minister, who is the Coonoor MLA, said that this year, the government planned to inaugurate helicopter services to Valparai and Yercaud. Companies had approached the government with the proposal, which was being considered. “I just had a conversation with the [Nilgiris] Collector asking if there were any hurdle to such a project from Coimbatore to the Nilgiris. He said some permissions needed to be procured, but said it could be done,” said Mr. Ramachandran.
The Minister added that there were plans to set up houseboats in the Ooty Lake and Boat House and the Pykara Lake during the upcoming tourist season. “We plan to set up the houseboats so tourists can have breakfast or lunch on the boats. As it gets too cold for such events in the evening, the plan is to offer groups of up to 30 tourists the chance to rent out the boats for birthday parties or events on the boats,” he added.
Mr. Ramachandran spoke to reporters following his visit to the photo exhibition organized at the GBG that has been organized to publicize the welfare schemes that have been launched by the government and that have benefitted local residents. Also present at the GBG on Tuesday was Nilgiris Collector, S.P.Amrith. The Minister highlighted the achievements of the government and its welfare schemes. He said that in the Nilgiris, the Pongal gift hampers were distributed to more than 2.19 lakh people recently.