UT­TARAK­HAND DE­VEL­OP­ING DREAM DES­TI­NA­TIONS

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Airports India - - NEWS -

What ma­jor steps are you ini­ti­at­ing to im­prove Ut­tarak­hand tourism?

Cur­rently, tourists are highly skewed to­wards re­li­gious tourism which has been thriv­ing in Ut­tarak­hand. Other sec­tors such as win­ter tourism and ad­ven­ture sports need to be fur­ther de­vel­oped. Ad­ven­ture tourism can cre­ate a cra­dle for the growth of re­gional tourism, which is cur­rently avail­able in very few places due to in­ad­e­quate in­fra­struc­ture and lim­ited op­er­a­tion fa­cil­i­ties. We are first plan­ning to build up a bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture and ac­com­mo­da­tion fa­cil­ity, and only then will we go ahead with the rest of our plans.

Ac­cord­ing to our Chief Min­is­ter’s di­rec­tions to cre­ate a new des­ti­na­tion in ev­ery dis­trict we are fo­cussing on ag­gres­sive land ag­gre­ga­tion pol­icy so that each des­ti­na­tion can be at­trib­uted to a themed idea.

How do you plan to solve the con­nec­tiv­ity is­sues in the state?

An all weather road which has been sanc­tioned by the Prime Min­is­ter is al­ready in the mak­ing. The dead­line for com­ple­tion of the Rs 12000 crore project is 2020. A sim­i­lar all-weather road is go­ing to con­nect the Ku­maon re­gion with the Panch­eswar Dam, which is a 4000 MW hy­dropower project—a joint ven­ture of Nepal and In­dia.

There are also plans of con­nect­ing all des­ti­na­tions of the Char Dham by train routes. The state al­ready has 76 he­li­pads, which in­di­cates that con­veyance by he­li­copter is go­ing to be­come an im­por­tant mode of trans­porta­tion. To im­prove air con­nec­tiv­ity post the Kedar­nath dis­as­ter there are on­go­ing talks re­gard­ing an ex­ten­sion of the Dehradun air­port. There are three up­com­ing air­ports in Gaucha, Pithor­a­garh and Chinyal­isaur as well. Apart from that, we are com­ing up with 4-5 rope­way projects which would also ease travel.

Have you tied up with any for­eign travel or­gan­i­sa­tion to pro­mote Ut­tarak­hand tourism?

We are plan­ning to or­gan­ise a travel mart in the be­gin­ning of 2018. Here we hope to in­vite all tour op­er­a­tors from across the globe. We will also call the In­dian tour op­er­a­tors to Ut­tarak­hand in an at­tempt to fa­cil­i­tate B2B meet­ings so that more tie ups can be grad­u­ally fa­cil­i­tated over the years.

What se­cu­rity mea­sure have you planned for tourists?

Ut­tarak­hand has never en­coun­tered the pit­falls of ter­ror­ism; the only se­cu­rity threat comes from nat­u­ral dis­as­ters. Af­ter the Kedar­nath dis­as­ter the state dis­as­ter man­age­ment de­part­ment has come up with a strong dis­as­ter man­age­ment mech­a­nism, and we have a ded­i­cated SDRF (State Dis­as­ter Re­sponse Force) fol­low­ing the likes of NDRF. A lot of man­power has been trained for res­cue op­er­a­tions; the me­te­o­rol­ogy pre­dic­tion is also be­ing reg­u­larly tracked and up­dated to as­cer­tain max­i­mum accuracy.

Pic: Naveen Sharma

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