Located in Kottur, Kerala, the elephant care-and-cure facility centre is all set to undergo an up-gradation to become the largest in the world. By Tanvi Jain

 

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The famous elephant rehabilitation centre of Kerala, located in Kottur – nearly 25 kilometres from the capital city of Thiruvananthapuramis all set for an up-gradation, and will soon become the largest elephant careandcure centre in the world, with enhanced features and facilities as per international standards, under the state government’s special programme for conservation and protection of elephants. 

The centre spread across an area of 176 hectares, will reportedly be commissioned in February 2021, at an approximate funding of INR 108 crores by thKerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). The first phase of the project was started in 2019, at a reported cost of INR 71.9 crores. Although, the centre currently houses only 16 elephants, after the up-gradation the count is expected to go up to 50. 

In order to provide elephants with a natural ecosystem, the project also includes the construction of reservoirs and checking of dams at the Neyyar Dam. It will further be protected by steel poles and nets, and will even be equipped with special facilities, such as a training centre for mahouts, an elephant museum, an administrative office, a research and study centre for students and nature lovers, cottages, entrance plaza, cafeteria, and special elephant viewing facility. 

Other features include a large kitchen, a spacious area for feeding the elephants, convention centre, amphitheatre, and a system to recycle waste to make paper and produce biogas. 

Apart from giving a boost to tourism, the upgraded centre will also bring in more employment opportunities, especially for the tribals living nearby. Moreover, people will also be provided with accommodation facilities, such as dormitory, etc.  

“With the completion of the project, Kottur will become a major tourist destination in the Thiruvananthapuram district and will see a huge leap in the tourism sector in general as more than 3.5 lakh people, including half-a-lakh tourists from overseas, are expected to visit Kottur every year. Tourism projects of the Forest Department and the Water Resources Department in the Neyyar Dam area will also be developed along with this project,” an official release was quoted as stating by the media. 

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