Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Government of India will select private consultancies to formulate master plan for “holistic development” of 12 iconic tourist sites identified for development with world-class tourism infrastructure. The Union government in its last budget had announced comprehensive development of 10 iconic tourist sites in India. Ministry of Tourism, after holding stakeholder meetings has already selected 12 such sites across the country to be developed under the scheme.
Briefing the government initiatives at a meeting organised by PATA India in New Delhi, Rashmi Verma, Secretary – Tourism, Government of India has said that project consultants will be appointed to formulate master plan taking into consideration the infrastructure gap at these identified destinations. Once the draft master plan is formulated, the same will be shared with the States and other stakeholders for feedback, she informed. “Under the master plan prepared by the appointed consultancy, we will receive the recommendations by them, will analyse the suggestions received from the stake holders and thereafter an action plan shall be prepared which will be implemented in collaboration with all the concerned Ministries and authorities responsible for the development of a particular iconic site.”
The sites identified are Taj Mahal & Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh), Ajanta and Ellora (Maharashtra), Humayun Tomb, Qutub Minar and Red Fort (Delhi), Colva Beach (Goa), Amer Fort (Rajasthan), Somnath and Dholavira (Gujarat), Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh), Hampi (Karnataka), Mahablipuram (Tamil Nadu), Kaziranga (Assam), Kumarakom (Kerala) and Mahabodhi Temple (Bihar).
The Tourism Secretary said that the government is enthused by the response for its ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme, and is in the process of signing more MoUs with private sector for upkeep and maintenance of the heritage sites. She said that the response to partner with the government has been from across industries, including schools. She said that while government has the capability to create infrastructure, day to day maintenance becomes a challenge. That’s where the private sector can make a difference. More than 30 such sites have been identified for MoUs for maintenance and upkeep with private sector by the Ministry of Tourism.