Centre Disappoints Odisha On Iconic Tourism Sites Again
New Delhi: The Centre does not seems keen to accommodate Odisha’s demand to include some of its sought-after destinations in the list of iconic tourism sites of India for development.
In a reply in Parliament on Tuesday, Minister of State for Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel presented a list of the iconic sites, and it was a repetition of those 17 mentioned in the House earlier this year.
As reported by Odisha Bytes earlier, none of the tourist hot-spots in Odisha figured in the list prepared by the Tourism Ministry in 2018. The matter had come to light when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech on July 5 said that the development of the sites would lead to increase visits of both domestic and international tourists.
As the omission of tourism sites from Odisha lead to an uproar, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in a letter to the Centre demanded that tourism places from the state should also be included in the list. Odisha MPs also raised the issue in both the Houses of the ongoing session of Parliament.
Below is the Minister’s reply in Rajya Sabha as put up by Press Information Bureau:
The Ministry of Tourism has identified 17 sites in 12 clusters in the country for development as Iconic Tourism Sites namely Taj Mahal & Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh), Ajanta & Ellora (Maharashtra), Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort & Qutub Minar (Delhi), Colva (Goa), Amer Fort (Rajasthan), Somnath & Dholavira (Gujarat), Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh), Hampi (Karnataka), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Kaziranga (Assam), Kumarakom (Kerala) and Mahabodhi Temple (Bihar).
The Ministry shall be developing the above sites in collaboration with the Central Ministries, State Governments and Local Bodies, in a holistic manner, with focus on issues concerning connectivity to the destination, better facilities/experience for the tourists at the site, skill development, involvement of local community, promotion & branding and by bringing private investment.
The information was given by Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.