Govt To Provide Professional Training To Staff Of Wayside Amenity Centres In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: In another step towards promotion of tourism, the Odisha government has decided to rope in professional institutions to train the staff looking after the wayside amenity centres (WACs).

Reviewing the functioning of the WACs at a high-level meeting in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra directed the officials to ensure proper upkeep and maintenance of the WACs and make those more homely for the tourists.

It was revealed at the meeting that 84 WACs have been constructed beside highways and important roads leading to tourist destinations. While 35 such facilities have been created by Tourism department, the rest 49 are by Works department.

It was decided in principle in the meeting that the WACs would be operated by women self-help group (WSHG) federations at block and panchyat levels while civil maintenance would be carried out by respective departments.

The chief secretary directed Mission Shakti department to train the WSHG members with necessary skill through professional institutions for running the WACs. “Professional running of the WACs while proving additional earning opportunities to the local people will attract more tourists to these places,” he said.

He advised to make available additional logistic facilities required by the travellers and tourists at WACs. The departments of Mission Shakti, Tourism and Works were asked to plan out the details for effective functioning of the WACs.

Further, Mahapatra directed the departments of Rural Development and Works to locate and list out the scenic places by side of different roads leading to tourism sites and eco-spots. It was decided to develop those places with interventions like a small parking place for 10 to 15 vehicles, toilets, sitting place etc so that the tourists could stop there for a while and enjoy the scenic beauty. “This would give a breathing break to the monotony of long travel, and make their trip more enjoyable,” said Mahapatra.

Principal Secretary Tourism Surendra Kumar, Principal Secretary Works Vir Vikrram Yadav, Secretary Mission Shakti Smt Sujata Kartikeyan, Director Tourism Sachin Ramchandra Jadhav along with senior officers of the departments participated in the deliberations.

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