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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.

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