Naalumanikkattu (evening breeze) is the first village roadside eco-tourism project initiated by the Manarcaud-Ettumanoor Bypass (MEB) Residents Association in technical collaboration with Tropical Institute of Ecological Sciences (TIES) aiming to preserve environment and heritage benefiting the local community. The rural roadside ecotourism began as an innovative solution to makeover the dump yard to a recreational spot. It is the first example in India for sustainable solid waste management and village roadside eco-tourism program by people. Today, the serene beauty of Naalumanikkattu attained popularity and became an evening destination for hundreds of people especially families, even from distant districts of Kerala. Manarcaud-Ettumanoor Bypass Road, built in 1995, features a beautiful embankment between Palamuri and Paiprapady (90.610125, 760.57385). Initially, the road became overgrown and dangerous due to a lack of maintenance and misuse as a dumping ground for household and slaughterhouse waste. This led to it becoming a shelter for drunkards and robbers. In November 2009 and June 2010, local residents cleared the weeds and waste. However, the area quickly reverted to a dump yard. A meeting on June 27, 2010, initiated a project for sustainable waste management with the Tropical Institute of Ecological Sciences (TIES). This project aimed to develop a sustainable solid waste management system while preserving the area's natural beauty and culture. The initiative succeeded, leading to the formation of the Manarcaud-Ettumanoor Bypass Residents Association (MEB). The association organized a massive campaign to clean the roadside, plant trees, and install garden plants. Kudumbasree workers were employed to clean the road daily, compensated through street stalls where they sold local dishes. With the help of sponsors, designer benches, swings, a slide, and solar lights were installed, transforming the roadside into a serene spot. The project was inaugurated on January 13, 2011, by Hon. Minister Sri. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, with support from local dignitaries. The event was festive, and the project has continued smoothly with regular cultural activities. Legal permissions were obtained from the Public Works Department, and Manarcaud Grama Panchayath provided full support. Regular activities promote heritage, culture, and biodiversity conservation.
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