‘Tourists safe in Jhark­hand’

In a tete-a-tete with , the Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary-Tourism and Civil Avi­a­tion in Jhark­hand talks about how the state will im­prove tourism in­fra­struc­ture.

TravTalk - India - - States - MEGHA PAUL

There has been no in­ci­dent of Maoists at­tack­ing tourists in Jhark­hand till date

Tourism in Jhark­hand has re­ceived a set­back in the re­cent times. Hit hard by left- wing ex­trem­ism, the tourists from Ben­gal, which form the main­stay of the in­dus­try are giv­ing the state a miss. Thus, the pri­mary ob­jec­tive of the tourism depart­ment is to re­vive the in­flow of trav­ellers.

Ac­cord­ing to Sa­jal Chakraborty, Pric­i­pal Sec­re­tary- Tourism and Civil Avi­a­tion, Govern­ment of Jhark­hand, it is a long way be­fore the state can com­pete with the lux­ury quo­tient of states such as Ra­jasthan and Ker­ala. “Cur­rently, we want to pro­mote Jhark­hand as a short get­away des­ti­na­tion to draw vis­i­tors from the neigh­bour­ing states. There has been no in­ci­dent of Maoists at­tack­ing tourists in Jhark­hand till date. I have es­tab­lished con­tact with the Maoists over this is­sue and they have as­sured that they won’t dis­turb the tourists. I vis­ited Isco caves in Bark­a­gaon, known to be a rebel strong­hold. I went with­out any se­cu­rity per­son­nel and re­turned un­scathed. I shall be spend­ing nights at sev­eral other places of in­ter­est so that tourists’ fears are put to rest,” he af­firms.

To strengthen the tourism in­fra­struc­ture in the state, Jonha Fall, Dasam Fall and Hun­dru Fall will soon have rope­way fa­cil­i­ties and the tourism depart­ment has ap­proved the same. The last tourism min­is­ter Su­bodh Kant Sa­hai hailed from Ranchi and had taken a num­ber of proac­tive mea­sures for boost­ing tourism. The depart­ment of tourism has asked its con­sul­tant agency to now pre­pare a de­tailed pro­ject re­port

for the same. In­stal­la­tion of rope­way at each site will cost

` 2.5 crore, the Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary in­forms.

In early April, this year the Depart­ment of Civil Avi­a­tion of Jhark­hand had an­nounced low­er­ing of ATF to four per cent. Night-park­ing of air­craft was also made free at Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Air­port. How­ever, this has not helped in giv­ing a fil­lip to the in­dus­try. Lament­ing on the sad state of civil avi­a­tion in the state, Chakraborty sug­gests the Min­istry to iden­tify a low­cost vi­able model for de­vel­op­ment of small air­ports to en­hance ‘re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity’. Urg­ing the State Govern­ment to pre­pare a roadmap for de­vel­op­ment of civil avi­a­tion in­fra­struc­ture, he points out the state is los­ing ` 24 crore an­nu­ally at the cost of re­duc­tion of ATF. Even night-land­ing has not been much ef­fec­tive, as it is only for sched­uled air­lines. The po­ten­tial of the char­ters and air am­bu­lances have been side­lined by the AAI in this case.

Sa­jal Chakraborty

Pric­i­pal Sec­re­tary- Tourism and Civil Avi­a­tion, Govern­ment of Jhark­hand

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