Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi to be developed as heritage arch to promote tourism : Akhilesh Yadav
Funds constraints will not come in way of developing Tourism potential in the state : Chief Minister
Historical buildings in Lucknow to be illuminated : Chief Minister
MoU signed with FICCI for Travel Mart
The first meeting of the UP Tourism Promotion Board held under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Akhilesh Yadav has said that there is unlimited potential of Uttar Pradesh and added that by giving them impetus, the state will be taken on the road of economic progress. He underlined that a heritage arch will be developed in Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi to attract tourists and added that additional funds will be released for laying roads around major tourist spots in the state. In the first phase, the Chief Minister said, world class infrastructure is being created within three km radius of the Taj Mahal in Agra.
The Chief Minister was putting forth his views at the maiden meeting of the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Development Board at Shastri Bhawan today.
Deliberating on the Ganga-Jamuni culture of Lucknow, Mr. Yadav said arrangements were being made to illuminate the ancient heritage buildings and monuments in the state capital. Other than this, he added, basic infrastructure facilities were being improved around Roomi Gate, Ghantaghar, Imambada and others.
The Chief Minister said Lucknow is known as a heritage city and the state government was also working towards making it a green city. Mr. Yadav said that suggestions were being sought from listed companies on improving the basic infrastructure and its modernization. He also pointed out that at the meeting an MoU was signed with FICCI for UP Travel Mart. The Chief Minister stated that various projects for Bundelkhand, Sufi circuit and Avadh will be made and implemented and that the tourism department and all concerned departments have been asked to strengthen the coordination mechanism and take inputs from important people and institutions.
This will on one hand improve the job opportunities in the state and will also take the state on the development course. The Chief Minister also informed that to promote tourism directives have been issued to constitute district tourism development corporation. In this Board, 60% members would be from the private sector. Elaborating on the theme park in Agra, the Chief Minister said here a Mughal era museum would also be established which will enrich and inform people on the Mughal era.
The Chief Minister also referred to the Kumbh and how keeping in mind the world’s largest congregation developing basic infrastructure facilities was being taken up separately. Mr Yadav said Uttar Pradesh was a state bestowed with world class monuments, historical and cultural heritage, religious places, natural and wildlife places in a large number which temp tourists from the country and world across. The Chief Minister referred to as Taj Mahal, he said that information of the Taj and other tourist places should be made available to the people and tourists. He also stressed on the need to create a good environment around tourist places, beautify them and improve the traffic situation. Mr. Yadav also pointed out that the Lion Safari in Etawah and various other natural tourist destinations offered unlimited potential to draw tourists for which serious and sustained efforts will have to be made. He also assured that fund availability will never be a constraint for the tourism sector. The Chief Minister Said to promote tourism in Agra and Varanasi, the government would consider slashing of VAt from 21 per cent to 4 percent on Aviation Turbine Fuel.
The meeting also discussed issues like major publicity of tourism spots, strengthening, beautification of tourist destinations and infrastructure development around them.
To promote tourist destinations in the state UP Travel Mart will be organised for five years at national and international level in coordination with FICCI. Plans are also afoot to explore possibilities of providing wi-fi facility at the major tourist destinations and establishing of a Lucknow Panorama. On the occasion, social worker and eminent film maker Mr Muzaffar Ali said already a lot of work had been undertaken to promote the Ganga-Jamuni culture of Lucknow. Expressing happiness at the pro-active role played by the present day state government in promoting tourism, Mr Ali assured all possible help to promote UP on the global tourism map.
It is pertinent to point out here that to promote tourism in the state the policy of the state government with regards to inter-state air service, heritage tourism policy, to give tourism corporation’s properties on lease, Kushinagar international airport, Taj International Airport, tourism development of Tajganj, World Bank aided pro-poor project, Mega tourism circuit and tourism destination, Bateshwar Heritage Conservation project and other fresh intitaives were also deliberated upon.
Other than this, publicity through the social networking sites, upgradation of the departmental website, developing mobile applications with regards to tourism destinations, food festivals in major cities, wildlife tourism, Dudhwa national park, Katrania Ghat, Lion Safari as draws for tourists was also discussed. An MoU was also signed with UP Travel Mart and FICCI which aims at providing complete tourist package and providing other relevant information. This will be unveiled on November 15 while road shows to promote UPTM will be organized in major cities of the country in November and December 2014.
The first UPTM will be organized in Lucknow on 22, 23 and 24 February 2015. The meeting was also addressed by Tourism Minister Mr. Om Prakash Singh and Chief Secretary Mr. Alok Ranjan. Other than government officials, eminent persons and office bearers of voluntary organisations are included in the UP Tourism Promotion Board. These include, Neemrana Hotel Group Mr. Aman Nath, Mr. Ram Pratap Singh of the Chambal Safari, Bateshwar; Agra, Mr. Prateek Heera, representative IATO, representative IATO (Buddh Circuit) Mr. SK Singh, representative TAAI UP Chapter Mr. Sunil Satyavatta, Secretary UP Heritage Hospitality Association Mr. PND Singh, Regional Director TCS Lucknow Mr. Jayant Krishna, eminent film maker Mr. Muzaffar Ali, Travel Writer Mr. Nirad Grover, Literary Personality Mr. Yogesh Pravin (Lucknow), Ms. Nidhi Yadav, Mr. Sharvendra Vikram Singh, Mr. DK Varman (Agra), Mr Chander Prakash of Universal Lucknow, Mr Vishal Bharti of the Tourism Guild, Agra, Mrs. Amrita Das (Lucknow), President of the UP Hotel and Restaurant Association Mr. Surendra Jaiswal, Mr. Wajahat Habibullah of the Habibullah Estate, Hazratganj, Mr. Arun Chawla, Mr. LK Jhunjhunwala, Mr. Rahul Chakrobarty (FICCI) North-east Airlines Ms. Captain Shobha Mani and Mr. Amit Gupta of FICCI. Other than this, Minister of State for Tourism Mr. Moolchandra Chauhan, Chairman of the UP State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. Mr. Sudip Sen, Advisor Tourism Department Mr. Rafiq Ansari, IIDC, Principal Secretaries/Secretaries of Finance, Planning, Forest and Transport Departments, Chief Forest Conservator, Secretary/Director General Mr. Amrit Abhijat, Special Secretary Dr. Shashank Vikram were also present.