9 Aug 2012

Centre had sanctioned Rs. 160 crore for tourism development in Uttarakhand,

The State Government has decided to totally waive off  Mountaineering fee, merge Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam and Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam under one unit, prepare action plan for better arrangement of public lavatories in main tourist spots including Char Dham Yatra and explore possibility of operating guest houses of PWD, Irrigation and other government departments in PPP mode.
Decision to this affect was taken in the review meeting of Tourism Department chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna at Secretariat on Thursday. Decision was also taken to increase grant for Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Paryatan Rojgar Yojna from existing 25 percent to 33 percent or from existing Rs. 10 lakh to Rs, 15 lakh whichever is minimum. Mr. Bahuguna said that the Centre had sanctioned Rs. 160 crore for tourism development in Uttarakhand, tender for ropeways at Yamunotri-Jankichatti and Purnagiri-Chulighat had been received, while, 16 other places had been identified for ropeway.
Chief Minister Bahuguna observed that for betterment of tourism activities, it was necessary to bring GMVN and KMVN under single unit. He said the single entity would ensure a single brand for Uttarakhand Tourism and enhance its popularity. Noting pathetic condition of guest houses of both the Corporations, he directed the officers to explore possibility of operating them in PPP mode for welfare of the workers and asked them to bring the proposal in the Cabinet.
Underlining Uttarakhand's vast tourism potential, Mr. Bahuguna laid emphasis on simplifying the investment process to encourage more investors in this sector. He stressed on slating time frame for the execution of process. To encourage Rafting and other adventure activities, Mr. Bahuguna advocated integrated tax collection system and directed the officers to bring proposal of Beach Camping Policy in the Cabinet.
 The Chief Minister said that the government would consider bringing the proposed Eco-Tourism Board under Tourism Department. He said that arrangements would also be made for the proper training to tourist guides.
Mr. Bahuguna directed the officers to maintain high sanitation standard at Char Dham, Hemkund Sahib, Piran Kaliyar, and other tourist places. Bio-degradable toilets would be constructed at Kedarnath route and master plan prepared to construct lavatories at Char Dham routes under which high standard toilets would be constructed in every 10 to 15 km distance for which budget of Rs. 24 crore had been proposed. Mr. Bahuguna directed the officers to organize Tourism Mart at New Delhi and invite prominent travel agents of the country in the Mart.
The meeting was attended by Tourism Minister Amrita Rawat, Chief Secretary Alok Kumar Jain, Principal Secretaries DK Kotia, M Ramaswami, Rakesh Sharma, S Raju; Secretaries  RadhaRaturi, Dr. SS Sandhu, Dr. Umakant Panwar, Surendra Singh Rawat; Additional Secretaries Dilip Jawalkar, Nidhi Pandey and other senior officers.

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