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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Lack of amenities keep visitors at bay from scenic Ousteri lake

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The Ousteri lake near Puducherry cries for attention as visitors stress the need for better sanitation and lighting facilities.
| Photo Credit: S.S. KUMAR

Visitors to Ousteri lake are complaining about lack of lighting and access to sanitation in the area.

Though boating in the lake ends by around 5 p.m., a large number of residents as well as weekend crowds throng the area in the evening hours to enjoy the view and surroundings.

The Ousteri lake stands in need of better sanitation and lighting facilities for tourists.

The Ousteri lake stands in need of better sanitation and lighting facilities for tourists.
| Photo Credit:
S.S. KUMAR

People complain that they are not able to spend much time as the entire area plunges into darkness in the evening due to absence of lights on the banks of the lake and even along the road that leads to Pathukannu.

“It is a nice place for residents to spend the evenings but we are unable to stay near the lake after sunset. There is no light on the banks of the lake or on the streets. Even the streetlights on the Vazhudhavoor Road are not working since long,” said Janavael, a local resident. Many tourists visit the place but they are unable to spend the evening hours, he said adding visitors also complain of lack of toilet facility.

“Even local residents avoid going to the lake after sunset as they feel unsafe. We have been asking authorities to rectify defects and provide proper lighting in the area. There are restrictions in place for improving the boating facility after a part of the lake was declared a bird sanctuary and identified as a wetland of national importance. But there is huge scope for eco-tourism which the government has conveniently ignored. Tourists need better facilities in the area,” said a PTDC staff.

There are not enough toilets in area, he said adding that the lake attracts many students both from within the territory and outside. “The students and accompanying teachers often complain about absence of toilet facilities. The cafeteria is also not operational for a long time,” he said.

Under the National Wetland Conservation Programme of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the lake has been declared as one of the 93 significant wetlands in Asia by the Asian Wetland Bureau. The lake is also home to around 200 bird species and also one of the major sanctuaries for migratory birds. There is a huge scope to attract local residents and tourists over weekends, he added.



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