Focus now on tourism at World Heritage Sites: minister
Dec 13, 2007, 16:04 GMT
New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) Creation of tourism infrastructure at World Heritage sites is a top priority for the Indian government, Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni said Thursday.
Toward this, efforts are underway to ensure better coordination with the ministries of civil aviation, railway, surface transport and urban development and the respective state governments to expeditiously execute the projects, she added.
Soni was addressing a meeting in Agra of the consultative committee of parliament attached to the tourism and culture ministry.
'Creation of infrastructure for promotion of tourism and conservation of heritage is always taken up in the larger national perspective keeping in mind the importance of the place and tourist traffic,' she said.
Her ministry had also sent a presentation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the areas where better coordination was required among various central ministries for promotion of tourism and betterment of related infrastructure in the country.
'Despite budgetary constraints and increasing land cost in the country, the tourism ministry is making all efforts to create additional rooms for budget tourists,' the minister said.
According to the minister, the government would like to see better hotel facilities in the public-private private partnership model in the country, particularly at major pilgrimage sites of all religions in the country.
Soni also urged the members of the committee to identify tourism projects in their areas that are environment friendly.
Responding to the suggestions of the members to strengthen the monitoring system of the tourism projects and conservation of monuments, she said local MPs will be invited during her or senior officials' visit to the tourist projects for their suggestion and concerns, if any.
'It is important that the people should be sensitised about the preservation and conservation of heritage sites and monuments and to the needs of guests from foreign countries,' the minister maintained.
Members attending the meeting stressed the need for better road and air connectivity, development of civic amenities and infrastructure and proper monitoring of funds released to complete different tourism related projects in the country.
Those who attended the meeting included Lal Singh, B.S. Dangawas, Parasnath Yadav, Prasanna Acharya, Nakul Das Rai, V.K. Thummar, Shripad Yasso Naik and Sunil Khan (all from Lok Sabha), and Chandan Mitra, Tarini Kanta Roy and Amir Alam Khan (all from Rajya Sabha).
Tourism Secretary Sheelbhadra Banerjee and Culture Secretary Abhijit Sengupta also attended the meeting.
© 2007 Indo-Asian News Service