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Tuesday, 24 July, 2018, 10 : 15 AM [IST]

Uttarakhand seeks Centre’s support to develop Buddhist, Ramayana and Mahabharata Circuits

‘Industry Status’ for tourism sector to boost investment: Satpal Maharaj
Minister of Tourism for Government of Uttarakhand, Satpal Maharaj has sought support of Central Tourism Ministry to develop new tourism circuits around Buddhist travel and destinations associated with Ramayana and Mahabharata in the state. The State Tourism Minister called on Union Tourism Minister, KJ Alphons in Delhi yesterday to seek support for the state and thank him for financial support of INR 85 cr under Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD which are currently under progress in the state. Maharaj said that projects worth INR 65 cr have already been completed in the state.

He said that a marathon meeting is being scheduled in Dehradun on July 26 to deliberate on and finalise these circuits. While UP and Uttarakhand share the legacy of Ramayana, Maharaj said that Uttarakhand can claim exclusivity when it comes to legacy and footprint of sites associated with Mahabharata. When asked about Buddhist trails in Uttarakhand which is not yet known, the Minister said that let it remain as secret until they prepare the final list.  

Revealing the details of the discussion with the Union Minister, Maharaj said that he has raised the issue of Centralising Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Dehradun which is currently a State IHM. 

When asked about the ban imposed on adventure tourism activities like white water rafting, para gliding, etc., by the NGT in the state, the Tourism Minister said that the state is in the process of finalising a full-proof policy and guidelines to regulate adventure tourism activities and the same is awaiting the Cabinet approval. He said that the state accord utmost priority to safety and security of people and therefore the proposed policy will take care of all aspects to make it convincing for the Court to lift the ban.  

Maharaj said that the recent Cabinet decision to accord ‘Industry Status’ for the tourism sector will give necessary impetus to tourism infrastructure creation even in the far-flung areas of the state. The State Minister also reiterated his government’s vision to develop Auli as a Winter tourism hub of the country with an all-weather road becoming a reality in coming years.

 
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