Many of the traditional wooden house boats that were a big draw for Indian and foreign tourists on the palm-fringed inland lagoons in Kerala are standing idle during the peak season.
This houseboat owner in the tropical back waters in Alappuzha waits for visitors but their numbers have dwindled after the most intense rains in a century triggered devastating floods last August.
Last Monday just really feeling bad because on a last December we can get good money and good business some good a lot of business in in this field.
But to 2018 is going down.
A tourist boom in recent years created tens of thousands of jobs but despite the receding flood waters work has been slow.
Two months, three months salary has been spending because of we don’t know enough this year we don’t have enough income.
Vowing to revive tourism, authorities are racing to restore damaged infrastructure in the plains and in careless popular hill areas where verdant hillsides had crumbled into brown rubble due to landslides.
Anoop Murali who left a small family farm to work in the city is happy that damaged roads are being rebuilt and widened.
It is along these roads that he ferries tourists to scenic places covered with tea plantations such as Munnar.
This is our bread and butter, many people are like me there was no much opportunity to work in a farm because it is not machining.
As it overcomes the ravages of the floods Kerala is hoping to top the 1 million foreign and 15 million domestic tourists who came in 2017.
Environmentalists however cautioned that cutting fragile hillsides and diverting farmlands to build roads and resorts to accommodate visitors contributed to intensifying the flooding.
The urbanization and development that has happened has taken over a significant portion of area ecologically sensitive area which could have you know distributed water evenly or even allowed water to go inside the ground.
Infrastructure is being built without considering the movement of water okay so for example they’re constructing roads without giving way for water to pass under the road.
So you know they’re constructing fast but my my fear is that most of the roads are going to again became become an embankment.
Others say tourism is their lifeline.
People are struggling now because somehow guests should understand that key lies under person safe and we all welcome them to a point for our survival and better business.
With such voices ringing out Kerala faces a challenge in ensuring sustainable development as it rebuilds.
Anjana Pasricha for VOA news Kerala