A sum of Rs. 480 crores would be spent on development of infrastructure in unexplored and lesser known tourist places of the state under the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Tranche-II project worth Rs. 1892.04 crores.
This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the review meeting of Tourism and Civil Aviation Department here today.
The Chief Minister said that in the first phase, Rs. 800 crores have been proposed to be spent under this project on various activities for development of tourism.
Rs. 480 crores would be spent on providing basic amenities, strengthening infrastructure and capacity building in lesser known tourist destinations. He said that convention centres, tourist culture centres, food parks and
parking slots would be development in these places.
Jai Ram Thakur said that about Rs. 180 crores have been proposed to be spent on beautification of towns like Nahan, Solan, Palampur, Dalhousie, Una, Keylong, Tabo and Kaza.
Under this project, about Rs. 45 crore would be spent on conservation and maintenance of heritage buildings and Rs. 50 crores on capacity building. He said that under the new scheme Nai Raahein, Nai Manjilen, the state government has selected Janjehli in Mandi district, Chanshal in Shimla district, Bir Billing in Kangra district and Larji to be developed from tourism point of view.
He said that food park and parking facilities would be developed on both sides of the Rohtang tunnel to facilitate the tourists as well as local people.
The state government is committed to establish maximum number of ropeways in the state for the convenience of tourists. He said that MoU has been signed between Himachal government and government of Punjab for construction of Sri Anandpur Sahib-Shri Naina Devi Ji ropeway recently which would connect two religious places.
He said that construction has been expedited on Dharamshala-Mcloedganj ropeway coming up at a cost of Rs. 150 crore and it would be completed by May next year.
He said that Palchan to Rohtang ropeway would be completed by the year 2022 whereas Adi Himani to Chamunda and Bhunter to Bijli Mahadev ropeways would be taken soon.
The Chief Minister said that the union government has identified six destinations of the state to be included under the UDAAN-II viz. Baddi, Shimla, Rampur, Nathpa Jhakri, Kanganidhar (Mandi) and Manali. He said that once the infrastructure was upgraded in these places, it would provide better air connectivity to high end tourists. He said that heliport at Sanjauli (Shimla) would be completed by May next year.
He said that the state has several manmade reservoirs such as Chamera, Pong Dam, Govindsagar, Tatapani, Larji and Pandoh. All these reservoirs have immense potential for being developed as major tourists attractions for adventure and water sports. These lakes would be developed for water sports, shikara, boating, house boat, sea plane and other recreational activities.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the state government would take up the matter for allowing water sports and recreational activities in Pandoh dam with BBMB so that it could be developed from tourism point of view. He said that Larji dam would also be developed as tourist attraction by creating necessary infrastructure to facilitate the tourists.
Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism Ram Subhag Singh said that the Tourism department would ensure that all lesser known destinations of the state are brought on the tourism map of the country. He said that efforts would be made to involve private entrepreneurs to invest in tourism projects in these areas.
Chief Secretary B.K. Agarwal, Principal Private Secretary to Chief Minister Vinay Singh, Additional Director, Tourism Manoj Sharma and other senior officers were also present on the occasion among others.>