Vikarabad: An idea of Chevella MP Konda Vishveshwar Reddy not only made Kotepally dam into a most sought after tourist destination near Hyderabad, but also created employment to 35 local youth, including five women, and indirect employment to about 100 people. With a motive to create employment to local youth locally to plug in the migration and exploit the rural tourism destinations in Telangana, the MP under Justice Konda Madhava Reddy Foundation (JKMR), which is being run in memory of his late father and former Chief Justice of High Court, Hyderabad, Konda Madhava Reddy, had conceived the idea of introducing Kayak boating facility at the Kotepally dam.
The dam, located about 20 km away from famous Vikarabad hills, normally attracts a huge number of tourists during the weekend and holidays from Hyderabad, has proved an instant success. The intensity of the influx of tourists is such that, the Dam is attracting over 10,000 tourists on weekends and holidays. The visitors were forced to wait for two hours to get their turn to go on boating on January 1, when the tourist influx has peaked, though there were 14 double Kayak boats and 10 single Kayak boats.To maintain hygiene on the dam premises, the JKMR had also placed mobile toilets
Speaking to Telangana Today, coordinator of the boating facility,S Ramulu said that they were paying Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 salary to 35 local youth hailing from the neighbouring villages. Stating that they have also introduced fishing rods on rent for enthusiasts coming from Hyderabad and provided accommodation for them. He said that they would also pay bonus to their employees on the days when they witnesses more than expected crowd. Stating that kayaking and angling was just the beginning, Ramulu said that there were many more ideas to come up to make Kotepally a paradise for tourists.
The business activity at Dharur, mandal headquarter, has increased considerably during the past two years since kayaking was introduced at the water body in September, 2015. Many farmers were seen selling fruits ,vegetables and eatables en route to Kotepally at Dharur.
After tasting success in his first attempt, Vishveshwar Reddy had aimed to replicate the idea across his constituency to exploit the eco-tourism spots besides creating employment to youth at their door step. Bairu Venkatesh, who used to eke out livelihood by working in his farm at Nagasamundar village, has been drawing about Rs 12,000. Since he need to work for just three days in a week, Venkatesham has said that they will continue to do their agriculture activity without any interruption besides looking after his parents and the family.
Another employee, V Chandrakala, a native of Rudraram village, said that they could happily spend their time with families besides working. Half of the 35 people working at the boating point used to work in various industries in Hyderabad. They say that they used to spend half of their earnings on house rent and transportation to their native places. They thanked the Chevella MP for coming up with the innovative idea at Kotepally. B Jagadev, a tourist, said that they never thought there was such a beautiful place very close to Hyderabad.