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[dropcap]I[/dropcap]tanagar: Two important projects under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India were inaugurated at PTSO Lake in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. These projects are “Development of North East Circuits: Bhalukpong- Bomdila – Tawang Project & Nafra- Seppa- Pappu, Pasa, Pakke Valleys- Sangdupota- New Sagalee- Ziro- Yomcha Project ”. These projects were jointly inaugurated by the Union Minister of State (IC) Tourism, Shri K.J. Alphons; Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Shri Pema Khandu and Minister for Tourism, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Shri Jarkar Gamlin. Other important dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
Speaking at the event, Shri K J Alphons said that the efforts of Ministry have shown positive results and the Foreign Tourist Arrivals in the region have shown an upward trend over the years. The region received a total of 1.69 lakh foreign tourist visits during 2017 as against 1.45 lakh in 2016 registering a growth of 16.7% over 2016. The Domestic Tourist Visits reached to 95.47 lakhs in the year 2017 against 77.71 lakhs registering impressive double-digit growth of 22.8% over 2016. The Tourism Minister added that the increased number of tourists, in turn, has created better employment opportunity for the local population in the region.
The project Development of Bhalukpong- Bomdila – Tawang was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in March 2015 for Rs. 49.77 Crores. Under this project, the Ministry has developed facilities like Accommodation, Cafeteria, wayside Amenities, last Mile Connectivity, Pathways, Toilets, Multipurpose Hall at Jang, Sorang Monastery, Lumpo, Zemithang, Bumla Pass, Gritsang TSO lake, PTSO Lake, Thingbu and Grenkha Hot Spring, Lumla, Sela Lake.
The project Development of Nafra- Seppa- Pappu, Pasa, Pakke Valleys- Sangdupota- New Sagalee- Ziro- Yomcha was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in December 2015 for Rs. 97.14 Crores. The facilities developed under this project includes Helipad, Wayside amenities, trekking trails, Rafting Centre, Log Huts, craft bazaar, Eco Park, Tourist facilitation centres, parking, Multipurpose Hall, festival ground etc.
Development of Tourism in North Eastern Region is the prime area of focus for the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry has taken several initiatives for the growth of domestic and international tourism in the region. One of the many challenges the region faces in development of tourism is the absence of quality infrastructure, services and awareness about the array of tourism products region has to offer.
The Ministry is carrying out the number of activities to handle the issues on the above fronts. On one hand, the Ministry has given great impetus to the tourism infrastructure in the region under its flagship schemes of Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD. For the development of Tourism infrastructure, the Ministry has sanctioned 16 projects for Rs. 1349.04 crores covering all North Eastern States under its schemes of Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD. The Ministry is actively working with other Central Ministries like Mo/Culture, M/o DONER, M/o Road Transport and Highways, M /o Civil Aviation etc. for development of Tourism in the region.
Swadesh Darshan scheme is one of the flagship schemes of the Ministry of tourism for the development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner. Under this scheme, the Government is focussing on the development of quality infrastructure in the country with the objective of providing better experience and facilities to the visitors on one hand and on other hand fostering the economic growth. The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date, the Ministry has sanctioned 73 projects worth projects for Rs. 5873.99 Crore to 30 States and UTs. 30 projects / major components of these projects are expected to be completed this year. 6 projects have been inaugurated as on date under the scheme.
For the promotion of North East region Ministry carries out special promotion in domestic and international markets highlighting regions diversity, tourism products and its rich culture. The Ministry organizes International Travel Mart every year in one of the Northeastern states with an objective of providing a platform to the North Eastern States to showcase their tourism potential to prospective international and domestic buyers an opportunity to interact with them. The Ministry of Tourism has also set up Hotel Management and Food Craft Institutes for creating skilled manpower in tourism and hospitality sector in the North Eastern Region.
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