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Saturday, 09 February, 2019, 15 : 47 PM [IST]

Karnataka to develop Badami as a world class tourist destination

Annual budget for 2019-20 of HD Kumaraswamy govt. proposes Karnataka International Tourism Exhibition (KITE) to showcase and promote Karnataka
Introducing the annual financial budget for 2019-20 in the State Assembly, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has proposed to develop Badami in North Karnataka into a world class tourist destination. The Chief Minister who also handles the Finance portfolio, has proposed an allocation of Rs 25 cr for the purpose in the annual budget. Badami is famous for its rich Chalukyas heritage and its handicrafts. 

 Among the key proposals in the tourism sector include a proposal to set up a dedicated Travel and Tourism exhibition to showcase and promote Karnataka. The Chief Minister has proposed Karnataka International Tourism Exhibition (KITE) and allocated a grant of Rs 2 crore for the same.  

The budget also proposes introduction of open double decker sightseeing buses in Mysuru and Hampi in the lines of London Big Bus for which the CM has set aside Rs 5 cr in the budget. Six such buses will be introduced in the new financial year. The Chief Minister also proposed ‘Tourism Discourse Centres’ in Hampi and Vijayapura and allocated Rs 1 cr each.

 Coastal tourism will be developed in Sasihittalu of Penambur. For this purpose a grant of Rs 7 crore has been proposed in the budget. 

The budget also put forward many initiatives to improve accessibility and connectivity. There are various initiatives in the budget to address the current infrastructural bottlenecks in the capital city, Bengaluru in order to create ‘Brand Bengaluru’ image on the world stage. 

‘Development of a new terminal building at Bidar Civil Airport with an expenditure of Rs 32 crore will be undertaken in the year 2019-20. A memorandum of understanding for operation of civilian flights with GHIAL (GMR Hyderabad International Airport) and Government of Karnataka in association with Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India is finalised. It is expected that the Airport operations will commence in the year 2019-20,’ said the CM introducing the budget. 

The Chief Minister also expressed the hope of operationalising Kalaburagi Airport developed at an investment of Rs 175 crore on 748 acres of land. A memorandum of understanding has already been signed with Airport Authority of India with regard to ATC operations. Airplane Operating Agencies have submitted bids under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (UDAN-Ude Desh Ka Nagrik) and the same will be operationalised shortly. 

The tender process is in progress in respect of development of Chikkamagalur and Shivamogga airstrips under PPP model. It is proposed to take up Development of Hassan Airport during 2019-20, he said.
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