SHIMLA- The tourism potential of Pabbar Valley in the district that can help decongest the busy Shimla-Kufri-Fagu circuit remains untapped because of poor road connectivity and lack of political will of the state tourism establishment to develop infrastructure there.
The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) built Giri Ganga hotel at Kharapathar at 9,000 ft, gateway to Pabbar Valley, and Hatkoti hotel at the historic shrine of Mahishasura Mardini at Jubbal Valley a few years ago to promote tourism. However, the latter has been shut while the former is struggling for survival, say HPTDC sources.
The main reason behind the failure of the HPTDC to promote tourism in the Valley is poor road connectivity and inadequate marketing of the Valley as an apple bowl blessed with scenic splendour. The Valley has Chanshal ski slopes, untouched Dodra Kuar valley, temples and unexplored treks,
observed Narayan S Kotvi, former editor of the Vidhan Sabha, who has written a paper on Pabbar Valley identifying its vast tourism potential.
It took the state government decades to decide that the Theog-Hatkoti-Rohru road, the backbone of the apple economy, needs to be widened when it was found that this road becomes unmotorable due to plying of fruit-laden trucks on way to market during the apple season every year.
The work on the road is going on at a slow place as the bridges and widening works are not complete though the state High Court has pulled up the contractor and the state PWD for slow pace of work, say farmers and travel agents.
Kotvi observed that the state government was mulling promoting heli-skiing or skiing at Chanshal slopes located at 4,220 m for the past many years, but it had not even run a trial-run there so far. Larot near Chirgaon can be used by trekkers as base camp to make their foray into Dadra Kuar across snow-clad Chanshal Pass into the Sangla valley, Kotvi had observed.
The Pabbar valley can develop into a new mecca for adventure tourism as Pabbar river can be taping for river rafting and trout fishing. Besides, there are other trekking routes from Sungri-Maoral Danda, Supail-Baltidhar, Gamessdhar-Khadrala, Kharapathar-Giri Ganga, Kuparh and Chatradhar,
Kotvi had pointed out.
However, he had sounded a word of caution saying the hydropower projects – Dhamvari- Sunda, Swara-Kuddu and other smaller projects – may spell disaster in the valley as Pabbar river will disappear into tunnels. The government should ensure that ecology and development walk hand in hand, he cautioned.
Chairman, HP Tourism Development Board, Maj VS Mankotia said,
We have mulled over developing tourism in Pabbar Valley, but there are many hurdles in the way.
Photo: Amit Kanwar
Himachal to Set up 100 Swachhta Cafés Worth Rs. 10 Crore to Promote Traditional Cuisine, Collect Tonnes of Single-Use Plastic
Shimla-Swachhta cafe would be set up in Himachal Pradesh with an estimated cost of around Rs. 10 crores by the year 2023. The State Government would set up around 100 such cafes. Ten such “Swachhta Café” would be set up at important locations of the state with an estimated cost of rupees one crore with a target to collect 25 tonnes of single-use plastic items from different parts of the state by end of this financial year.
It was informed by Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Virender Kanwar recently.
Under this “Swachta Café” program, plastic waste will be purchased from the ragpickers, individuals collecting waste from households and urban local bodies at Rs. 75 per kilogram in exchange for food or other eatable items to motivate the ragpickers and individuals to keep their surroundings clean.
The Swachhta cafe will be constructed under “Village Haat Scheme” where women will be facilitated to sell medicinal plants, such as giloye, peppermint, powder of neem leaves and homemade pickles, murabba, wheat flour, pulses, spices and vegetable vat reasonable prices.
The women running the Swachhta Cafe will be given training in the hospitality sector to enable them to cook popular traditional cuisine to maintain original flavour and taste of the dishes. Around 100 such women will be trained by the hospitality experts during the current financial year, he informed.
He further informed that a target has been fixed to train around five thousand women belonging to self-help groups in the next three years in the hospitality sector to run these cafes.
The first Swachhta Café was inaugurated at Gram Panchayat Radiali in Nalagarh area in Solan, which is to be run by women self-help groups and another cafe would be opened at Naggar in Kullu Districts. Under the scheme, if a person brings more plastic waste then he can use the surplus money for dining in next time in the cafe.
Minister said that the programme aims that villages are made completely free of single-use plastic in coming years and the entire state will be covered under the scheme in a phased manner in coming years.
HP Tourism to Cook 1100 kg ‘Khichari’ at Tattapani to Promote Tourism
Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Tourism Department will organise ‘Tourism Festival’ on the occasion of Makar Sakranti on January 14, 2020, at Tattapani. It would be organised in collaboration with district Mandi Administration. This was disclosed by Director Tourism Department Yunus while presiding a meeting today.
He said that the objective of organizing this tourism festival is to promote Tattapani as a tourist destination. He said that for first-time tourism festival was being organised at Tattapani to make it tourism destination for Indian and Foreign tourists.
He informed that during this event, Water Sports, Satluj Aarti and cultural programmes would also be organised. On this occasion, 1100 kilogram’ Khichari’ would also be cooked and it would be especially cooked in a single utensil, he added.
This is for the first time in Himachal Pradesh that Khichari would be cooked in such large quantity and will be served to about 12,000 to 15,000 people. Special buses would also be plied by the Transport Department to reach Tattapani Tourism Festival from Mandi and Shimla on Makar Sakranti.
SDM Karsog, District Tourism Officer Mandi, representatives of NTPC, HPTDC, Language, Art and Culture Department and Tattapani Panchayat participated in the meeting among others.
ADB funds Rs. 1900 crore tourism project for Himachal
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 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.