Mysore/Mysuru: With the threat of second wave of COVID-19 looming large over the State, the number of tourists visiting the famed KRS Dam in Srirangapatna taluk of Mandya district, is reducing by the day, causing concern among officials, the Tourism industry and all other stakeholders.
The Dam used to witness 7,000 to 10,000 visitors everyday. But this number has come down alarmingly to just 700 to 750, which is only one tenth of the usual tourist footfall.
During normal days, tourists from neighbouring States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa used to visit the Dam. But making RT-PCR negative report submission compulsory for entry to the Dam has made the tourists stay away, according to officials of Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. (CNNL), which is in-charge of the Dam.
Prior to COVID-19 induced lockdown, the KRS with its magnificent Brindavan Gardens, used to attract 7,000 visitors on normal days and 10,000 to 12,000 visitors on weekends and other public holidays. Even after relaxations, the dam used to record 3,000 to 4,000 visitors daily. But surge in COVID-19 cases and RT-PCR negative report mandatory for outstation visitors has taken a toll on tourist footfalls. The drastic drop in the number of tourists has had a cascading effect on the revenues of CNNL.
The sudden drop in revenue earnings has become a matter of concern for the CNNL, which is finding hard to meet maintenance and other overhead costs. The CNNL is facing revenue problems in other fronts too as many shops have shut down due to lack of business, while some others, which are open, are finding it difficult to pay rent.
The authorities fear that dwindling revenues might badly affect the CNNL’s finances, which had just begun to look up in the post lockdown relaxation.
Not only KRS, but other popular tourist destinations in the vicinity of KRS such as Ranganathaswamy temple, Ranganathittu Bird sanctuary, Daria Daulat and Nimishamba temple, all in Srirangapatna taluk, too are facing a drastic fall in the number of tourists.
With tourist footfall decreasing by the day, the proposed plans of the Tourism Department for a Disneyland-like project at KRS may once again go into limbo.