Bhopal: 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.
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.
Principal 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.
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.
Chief 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.