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What is the uniqueness of Daman and Diu which attracts tourists?
Daman and Diu is a wonderful place for tourists. It has unique Portuguese heritage and rich culture. It has also been blessed with abundance of scenic beauty. There are historic forts of Moti Daman, Nani Daman and Diu. Many old and famous churches and other historic monuments attract the tourists too. Besides, there are places of religious importance for Hindus, Christians and Parsis. Daman and Diu are dotted with beaches, some of which are the best in the world. Moreover, the bird sanctuary, Nakshatra van, mangroves are other tourist attractions.
What steps have you taken for promotion of tourism?
We have focused on connectivity of Daman and Diu to facilitate smooth flow of tourists. For this helicopter service has been started between Daman and Diu. Flight services have also started between Ahmedabad and Diu. We are working with the Shipping Corporation of India to start catamaran services from Mumbai to Daman and Diu. Facilities for the stay of tourists are also being improved. For this we have started reconstruction of various government facilities to add 150 rooms in the government sector and motivating private sector to add quality accommodation facilities for the tourists. Development of beaches has also been taken up in a big way.
Tell us something about your beach development projects.
Diu has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Ghogla beach is one of the three beaches selected for “Blue Flag” accreditation in the country. Besides Ghogla we have Nagoa and Chakratirth beach in Diu. Daman also has Jampore, Devka and Chepli-sheri. We have taken up development of all the beaches with state of the art amenities for the tourists. Projects worth about Rs.200 crores are in the pipeline for a massive development of these vital tourist attractions.
Besides beaches what other attractions have been planned for the tourists?
We want to make stay of tourists in Daman and Diu a very enjoyable and memorable experience. For this a light and sound show at Diu Fort is ready and likely to start very soon. We are also working on a light and sound show at Daman fort. Landscaping of the area inside and outside the forts have also been planned. We are developing Portuguese style streets and also working on renovation of the churches, redevelopment of khukri memorial, beautification of Noida Caves, tent cities, water sports, water taxis, helicopter joy ride and illumination of the Forts for night tourism.
What are you doing to let International tourists know about Daman and Diu?
Apart from periodic publicity drives, we are also participating in international tourism and trade fairs such as ITB Berlin and WTM London. We are also working on declaration of Daman and Diu Fort as UNESCO world heritage sites.
What steps have been taken to conserve the monuments and preserve Heritage?
We are fully aware of the importance of rich heritage and culture of Daman and Diu. We have got an extensive documentation of our heritage done through INTACH. We have also entered into an agreement with INTACH for conservation of are
A green signal is given by central ministry to proceed with top class medical colleges in DDDNH. It will commence in 2019-20 with high-end facilities for budding doctors and citizens seeking better medical infrastructures
churches other heritage buildings. Daman and Diu Fort are nationally protected monuments. ASI is doing lot of work for their preservation.
Besides tourism what are other sectors in Daman and Diu where you have focused?
Our hon’ble Prime Minister is working day and night to achieve the vision of “Newindia”. We are contributing to fulfillment of this vision by making “New-daman and Diu”. For this, besides an extensive overhaul of the infrastructure, we have been working on various social sectors to ensure citizen centric, inclusive development. Transformation in health and education has been achieved by improvement in infrastructure, increasing availability and capacity of human resources and transforming the service delivery. Lot of focus is on improving nutritional status of women and children. To achieve this, we have started Swabhiman scheme for take home supplementary nutrition for pregnant women, lactating mothers and adolescent girls. For elimination of stunting and malnutrition among children Mission Malnutrition Free Daman and Diu has been taken up. Besides, we are also working with other vulnerable sections like Industrial and construction workers for which highly subsidised lunch and doorstep delivery of Healthcare through mobile medical units has also been started. For skill development and enhancing employment opportunities, we have started 3 skill development centres and also organised several “Rojgar Melas”. Effective partnership with the industry has been achieved for rapid development.
In a welcome move, a new medical college has been established in the state which will begin functioning from 20192020. How far did students travel earlier for attending medical school? How are you planning to popularize this establishment among residents of other states?
It is indeed a significant move. Ever since Daman and Diu was liberated from the Portuguese rule in 1961, its people were demanding a medical college. The Centre has approved to set up the first medical college for the Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli at Sayli in Silvassa. It has allocated total Rs. 189 crores for the construction of the medical college and will start functioning from the academic year 2019-20. As promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the people of Daman-diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, during his visit on February 24, the central government has approved a medical college and bear its entire capital cost. The college will admit 100 students annually, from Daman and Diu and 50 from Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
What are the challenges faced? How the administration plans to overcome them?
The challenges have been lack of investment in the social sectors in the past, geographical distance of about 700Kms between Daman and Diu, and maintaining a fine balance between development and preservation of heritage and environment. We have successfully overcome many of the challenges. Investment in the social sectors have been considerably enhanced. The results will be seen in the coming years. The connectivity of Daman and Diu, and other parts of the country has been improved and more work is being done for its further improvement. Preservation and restoration of our built heritage has been our priority. Daman and Diu are ecologically sensitive areas. Several projects like development of bird sanctuary in Diu, development of Nakshatra Van and mangroves have been taken up to preserve the environment. With the support of the people, and guidance and leadership of the Prime Minister, the administration is successfully taking rapid strides towards a new Daman and Diu.