Alappuzha: The tourism department's ambitious boat museum project announced five years back with a deadline of four months has reached nowhere even as the state is preparing for the first Champions Boat League.
The Rs 1.1-crore museum was to showcase traditional boat races for the tourists as well as generations to come on two floors of the Tourism Amenity Centre at Punnamada Finishing Point.
Former District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) secretary C. Pradeep said it was part of the Mega Tourism project of the UPA government. But with a change of guard at the Centre and in the state, its works got stalled, and the funds lapsed.
The museum was mainly planned to display monumental snake boats as Nadubhagam Chundan Jawaharlal Nehru mounted after its 1952 victory.
On August 16, 2014, a group of artists conceived the museum and its installations under a Chennai-based architect with Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation (KITCO) as implementing agency.
But KITCO never turned up, and research works including collecting photographs, paintings and other testimonies stopped midway.
"We have no idea of the project as there's no file here," said DTPC secretary M. Malin.
"However, the finance minister has now announced a new boat museum project under the state's heritage project."
Vinod Karichal, a boat race lover, said the district administration had held talks on taking over the old Nadubhagam boat, but nobody contacted after that.
"It continues to be ruining in a ramshackle shed near Nedumudy Panchayath office," he says
The idea was to display replicas of different types boats including Kothumbu Vallam and Chundan Vallam explaining methods of construction and details about traditional carpenters who craft them.
A million tourists, including foreigners, visit the district every year to enjoy the pristine backwaters. The museum could help them understand the legacy of snake boats and boat races....