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The Barot Valley – A victim of the false promises and deceptive assurance given by the political leaders.

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The Barot Valley – A heaven like tourist spot cries for maintenance for over a decade

The Himachal assembly polls are nearing and 53 candidates left the battle field on the last date for withdrawing the nominations, and now we are left with 469 candidates in the arena. The list of the promises has been printed on fine quality paper and is being circulated through manifestos. One of the highlights of these manifestos is the development of the tourism industry in Himachal. However, these promises mostly remain printed on the manifesto and rarely see the real world action. Here is one example.A resident of the Joginder Nagar wrote to HW along with images and related URLs of the Chauhar Valley, better known as Barot valley – a beautiful tourist spot located in the Joginder Nagar, District Mandi of Himachal Pradesh. According to him, the Barot Valley has a great potential as a perfect destination for tourists , but the government is not paying any attention towards its maintenance and development. Interestingly, Kaul Sigh, former Congress chief who has filed nomination from the Darang constituency for the polls scheduled for next month, was approached many times with the issue of the bridge in the valley, which fell down in 1995 due to a flood. However, nothing was delivered accept assurance. The complainer further puts it in the following words:

The original Text of the complaint sent to HW:

“Well the problem is that government is not taking care of this place, which can be developed as a tourist hub Here are the photos with description.

In this image you can see the left side pillars of the broken bridge. This bridge was broken in flood 1995 and yet not built again. Kaul Singh several time assured that they are working on this matter, but nothing ever actually done for solve the issue . On the right side you can see a small temporary bridge made of woods. This bridge flows away every time when there is a little flood in Uhl river and villagers have to go round about 3KM long to reach the other side – the Multhan village (Multhan village is in Distt. Kangra , Baijnath block on the other side of the bridge)

broken-bridge-broat-valley

In this picture you can see the poor condition of the roads, that leads from Barot to Mayot village and was constructed about 6 years ago. The condition of the road is worse than a dirt road. It’s a shame to have such a lethargic governing body.

damaged-road-barot-valley-Joginder Nagar

This road leads from Barot to Bada Gram village ( in Kangra district ) was constructed approximately 20 years ago and yet no better than the ruins of devastated place Many time you have to cross a vehicle by driving over the water streams due to the lack of the bridge over it.”
barot-valley-Joginder Nagar

The valley is not fortunate enough to get any attention inspite of being full of potential of earning dollars for the state. Those who live in the valley or travel to the valley faces tough road and broken bridges.Why is that, the cries of public has been ignored even over a decade. That’s what the both parties calls development. It’s a single case, but it does show the attitude of these political parties, which lures the public with promises before the election and then turns their back to them once the elections are over. We suggest, now we should wait for the results of the polls to be held on November/4/2012 and then expect the new government to attend the issue as Mr. Kaul Singh didn’t find it considerable enough.

ECO-Tourism

ADB funds Rs. 1900 crore tourism project for Himachal

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ADB Funds Tourism Project for Himachal Pradesh

The design of the project is based on the detailed baseline data, a study conducted of 324 sites in 12 districts of the state, suggestions obtained from about 90,000 tourists.

Shimla: The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India has approved a tourism infrastructure development project worth about Rs. 1900 crores to be funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for development of tourism infrastructure in the urban and rural areas of Himachal Pradesh.

With the help of this ADB funded project, the state would develop tourism in rural, unexplored areas and improve the infrastructure of the towns and also generate employment for the local youths and showcase Himachal as the best natural tourist destination state, the State Government informed.

Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism Ram Subhag Singh further informed the project would be completed in eight years.

The project is supposed to focus on diversification of tourism to new and rural areas by developing tourism infrastructure, create livelihood and employment opportunities through rural, adventure and ecotourism.

The project also mentions the application of innovative models like incentive-based mechanisms for community-based tourism activities, augmentation of services like water supply, sewerage, solid waste, skill development related to the tourism sector, advertising and marketing etc.

He claimed it would be one of the finest examples of sustainable tourism in the Himalayan States.

The project will have both hard and soft components and will include beautification of towns, development of unexplored areas, conservation and restoration of heritage buildings, infrastructure development in adventure, eco, rural tourism with an emphasis on community participation and employment generation.

The design of the project is based on the detailed baseline data, a study conducted of 324 sites in 12 districts of the state and suggestions obtained from about 90,000 tourists and designed in line with sustainable tourism guideline for the Himalayan States.

The Union Ministry of Tourism, Union Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs and Niti Ayog have also supported the project for tourism development in Himachal, it was informed. ADB Funds Tourism Project for Himachal Pradesh

The Government said the Department of Economic Affairs was satisfied with the performance and progress of the State on the ongoing ADB funded project of about Rs.600 crores.

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ECO-Tourism

Future of India is in tourism, says Alphons at conference on Himachal’s eco-tourism potential

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Potential of Eco-Tourism in Himachal Pradesh 2

Shimla: The Union Minister of State for Tourism Minister K. J. Alphons on Tuesday said the future of India is in tourism as the global tourism witnessed a growth of 7 per cent, while tourism in India grew by 15.6 per cent.

He was speaking during the inauguration ceremony of the two days International Conference on ‘Eco-Tourism Potential in Himachal Pradesh’ organized by the State Forest Department and Eco-Tourism Society of Himachal Pradesh at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali in Kullu district.

It is true that the potential of tourism in Himachal is promising. Sadly, the previous government of the both ruling and opposition parties did not do much to encourage eco-tourism or environmental conservation. The efforts were limited to announcements and proposals.

Some of the appreciable steps in this regard, which are very rare, were a ban on plastic bags and thermocol cups and plates.

All major international tourism destinations of the State have witnessed an unplanned growth of concrete and rise in the daily generation of solid waste. However, except for Shimla town, none of the other districts has a solid waste treatment plant. The Municipal Councils of these towns are still using landfills.

It was only recently in 2018 that the State Government made an announcement for the establishment of waste management plants in various districts. However, the government did not provide any deadline for the completion.

New Announcements of HP Govt

On Tuesday, the Himachal Pradesh Government has announced the development of 113 sites boost the eco-tourism. Out the total, five sites would be developed in a Public Private Partnership mode. Other 16 sites would be developed by the State Forest Department and 47 by the HP the State Forest Corporation. These agencies would are supposed to start eco-tourism activities at these sites.

It was announced that 25 new destinations would be developed by constructing log huts for tourists.

Three eco-tourism hubs would be developed during the current financial year and 10 places would be developed as adventure tourism spot of Himachal in collaboration with Eco-Tourism Society, Tourism Department and Mountaineering Institute, Manali.

Further, the government claimed that 31 eco-tourism circuits has been prepared and would be sent for approval to the Centre.

Nature parks and herbal gardens are being developed in the State and as many as 50 Forest Rest Houses have started eco-tourism activities in the State. It said efforts would be made to link eco-tourism with the rural life, culture and traditions.

The government expects it would not only give a boost to the unexplored and virgin tourist destinations of the State but also help in boosting economic activities in the rural areas of the State.

The government said it would spend Rs 50 crore on a new scheme ‘Nayae Rahaien Nayae Manzilain’, under which new tourist destinations would be developed in the State.

The government has banned the use of thermocol cup plates in the State from June 5 on the occasion of World Environment Day. These steps would go a long way in ensuring a clean environment of the State.

The eco-tourism could have several components such as trekking, mountain biking, river rafting, skiing, heli-skiing, camping, rock climbing, bird watching etc.

The government said the exploration of new destinations would not only provide much-needed solace to the tourists visiting these pristine new places in the State but also lessen the burden on already crowded tourist destinations of the State.
The Government would also associate private players to invest in eco-tourism projects.

The Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur filled a membership form of Eco Club on the occasion. Several MoUs for eco-tourism projects were signed on the occasion between different organizations and companies.

The left bank Manali road would be taken up through World Bank of CRF funding for its timely completion.

The announcements do sound appreciable, but in reality, the government is still struggling even to provide basic facilities to the public. The tourism industry in Shimla had taken a hit due to the water-scarcity caused by mismanagement and preparedness of the government.

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ECO-Tourism

Himachal seeks Rs. 300 crore from Centre to promote religious tourism circuit and eco-adventure tourism

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Religious Tourism in Himachal PRadesh

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government has urged the Union Minister for Tourism, K.J. Alphons to sanction three schemes worth Rs. 300 crore to promote religious tourism circuit and eco-adventure tourism in the state.

The Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, during a meeting in New Delhi, apprised the Minister that Himachal was also a major centre of religious tourism and religious tourism circuits will be developed here to provide devotees more facilities.

The Chief Minister also invited Union Minister to Himachal and said that he himself will take him to the tourist destinations of the State. K.J. Alphons whole-heartedly accepted the invitation.

Chief Minister also urged the Centre to provide funds generously for widespread publicity of tourism sites in the state.

The Union Minister of State for Tourism assured the Chief Minister that the Union Government will extend all possible support to this hill state for exploitation and expansion of its tourism potential.

The Chief Minister said that the focus should be on tourism in the state, which was not given before. However, now the state government is giving special emphasis to strengthening infrastructure in virgin natural places, he said.

Himachal has immense potential for adventure tourism and adventure sports like mountaineering, biking, river rafting, and paragliding and the state is considered as a paradise for these adventure sports.

However, it is true that the governments have done very little to polish and maintain the tourism sector.

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