Tourism Policy 2016: Madhya Pradesh “Tourism Cabinet” gives industry status to tourism

Newsroom24x7 Staff

orchchaBhopal: The Tourism Cabinet at its maiden meeting under the chairmanship of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today approved the Tourism Policy-2016 for the integrated development of tourism in the State.

The new tourism policy will be effective for five years. At today’s meeting, the achievements of the tourism sector were placed on record and the prospects of wildlife tourism were especially discussed.

On this occasion, the Chief Minister said that tourism Cabinet was formed to make Madhya Pradesh a leading State in the sphere of tourism. He laid emphasis on socio-economic development through integrated tourism and coordinated efforts of all State Government departments. There should be focused efforts to increase the number of domestic and foreign tourists, Chouhan said adding infrastructure and all related facilities to facilitate the growth of tourism should be developed by exploring the prospects of private sector participation under the PPP mode along with budgetary support by the State government and funds allocated by the Centre.

The Chief Minister had a special word of advice. He said that the structures being built by the State Tourism Corporation near monuments under the control of Archeological Survey of India should be so designed that they should merge and gel with the architecture of the exisiting monuments. He underscored the need to market the “Jal Mahotsava” (Water Festival) to be held in December at the international level.

satpura-rangeChouhan called for special efforts to market Panchmarhi, the picturesque hill station that is just a few hours drive from Bhopal, as a tourist destination with immense natural beauty.

The Chief Minister said more projects should be submitted to the Compensatory Forestation and Management Authority. He said that villagers should be encouraged to settle outside the buffer zones but before the displacement of villages, basic facilities should be arranged.

Under the new Tourism Policy, investors will be eligible to get grants for tourism projects across the state. Adventure tourism, water tourism, amusement and entertainment parks and wellness centres have been included in the eligibility list for capital grants. Decision was also taken by the Tourism Cabinet to open eco and adventure tourism for private investment. Specific provisions also have been made for the promotion of film tourism, water tourism and sustainable tourism in the new policy.

It has also been decided to give the industry status to tourism under the new policy. Now, lease rent and amount to be received from land and assets of tourism department will be kept in separate fund for diversion of government land and infrastructure development, like Aodyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam (AKVN). Wayside Amenities Establishment and Operation policy 2016, by state tourism department has been included in the tourism policy. District Industry Centre has been nominated as district level nodal agency for providing facilities at district level to investors interested in promoting tourism under MP Investment Facilitation Act 2008, under the single window system. Essential resources will be made available to district industry and trade centre in this regard.

Now land will be allotted at industrial rate to proposed and forthcoming tourism projects in industrial areas and parks. Tourism will get facility for electricity supply, land diversion, land value assessment, water allotment from natural sources and assessment of property tax, as per industrial units. New policy 2016 has been made part of the tourism policy for land auction for setting up tourism projects by private investors. Provision also has been made for a coordination committee under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary, for defining policy, inter-departmental coordination and resolving various issues.

rewa-water-fallPrincipal Secretary tourism Hariranjan Rao gave a special presentation at the Cabinet meeting. He informed that the process for renovation of Minto hall (old Assembly building) in Bhopal has begun. Renovation of Hanumantia, Mandu, Taj Mahal Palace (Bhopal), Govindgarh Fort (Rewa), Madhavgarh Fort (Satna) is underway under the tourism policy. BRICS Tourism Summit, Jal Mahotsav and Tourism Quiz have been organized successfully. Development and maintenance of public utility works at 13 archeological sites has been given to the M.P. Tourism development corporation by the Archeological survey of India. Central government has approved projects worth Rs. 92 crore for wild life circuit, Rs. 75 crore for Buddhist circuit and Rs. 99.75 crore for Heritage circuit under the Swadesh Darshan Yojna. Similarly, Ujjain has been selected for the Prasad Yojna.

Significantly, Madhya Pradesh has been conferred with the Excellent Tourism State Award, besides the Excellent Paryatak Mitra Smarak, Excellent Innovative Project and Excellent Guide awards. Madhya Pradesh Institute of Hospitality and Training, Food Craft Institute, State Institute of Hospitality and Catering Technology in the sector of Hospitality training are being upgraded.

Kharmor Sanctuary Sailana Ratlam,

Kharmor Sanctuary Sailana Ratlam,

State Chief Wild Life Warden Jitendra Agarwal gave a presentation on the current and future position of wild life tourism. He informed that single rate arrangement has been made for the tourists in the protected wild life areas. Better retiring facilities have been provided. Online Permission is being given for the wild life tourist places. Besides vehicle safaris, facilities of cycling, canoeing and trekking are being increased. Free entry is being provided to all the students in the buffer areas.

tiger-pench-tiger-reserveChief Executive Officer of Eco-Tourism Board Pushkar Singh informed that 20 areas for amusement activities and six areas for wildlife experience have been notified under the Madhya Pradesh Van Manoranjan evam Van Prani Anubhav Rule -2015. Besides, 5 amusement and 2 wildlife experience areas are in the process of being notified.

The Tourism Cabinet was attended by Minister for Revenue Umashankar Gupta, Minister for Public Works Department Rampal Singh, Minister for Public Health and Family Welfare Rustam Singh, Minister of state for General Administration Department Lal Singh Arya, Minister of state for Tourism and Culture Surendra Patwa, Minister of state for Ayush, New and Renewable Energy Harsh Singh and chief secretary Anthony de Sa. Additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries and secretaries were also present.

2 comments on “Tourism Policy 2016: Madhya Pradesh “Tourism Cabinet” gives industry status to tourism
  1. it is encouraging that the state Government has come up with the Tourism Policy giving industry status to the tourism sector. We must understand that Madhya Pradesh is known for its wildlife or to be more specific for Tiger Tourism. After the guideline of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) came into force in 2014, the carrying capacity of vehicles has got reduced to one-fourth in Tiger Reserves. Earlier in Kanha, there were approximately 150 vehicles in each round of safari, i.e., 300 vehicles per day. Now the total number of vehicles in Kanha has come down to 140. Similarly in Pench Tiger Reserve, the number of vehicles has dropped down from 240 to 88 per day. Consequently, we have a situation where many tourist resorts are operating at a loss. The number of foreigners coming to these tiger reserves has also declined sharply due to non-availability of sufari in the park due to reduced carrying capacity. Our Chief Minister wants to double the tourist flow but those in-charge of Wildlife management did just the opposite by reducing the number of tourists to one-fourth. It is surprising that that the State Tourism Department did not object nor brought this to the notice of the C.M.

    Forest and wildlife managers at the top level at that time came up with manipulated formula so that the number of tourists could be reduced to one-fourth. The reason behind this was their argument that due to tourism the tiger population was going down and M.P. had slipped to the 3rd position in India. Whereas the reason for the decline in tiger numbers was entirely different.

    Tourism helps not only in generating local employment but it also reduces man-animal conflict. It is a known fact that tiger population has increased in those areas where tourism has increased and the best example of this is Pench, which is the number one Tiger Reserve in India, leaving Kanha and Bandhavgarh behind.

    M.P. Tourism should see through the formula of carrying capacity cooked up by the wildlife wing of the Forest Department if it wants to increase tourism or hire knowledgeable persons who are experts in wildlife tourism with previous experience.

    Dr Ram Gopal Soni
    Ex. Field Director Pench Tiger Reserve
    Ex member secretary m.P. Biodiversity board
    Mobile: +919425819300

  2. A Very Critical Observation and a very upfront and bold statement Dr. Soni Saheb . Lets hope that the Government seriously thinks about the “Cooked Up “carry capacity formula set by the Forest Department taking cover of NTCA .

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