G.S. Bali, Tourism Minister said that the Centre Govt. has included Himachal Pradesh in the list of major tourist attractions to be projected during common wealth games being held in New Delhi during the year 2010. He disclosed this after meeting the Union Tourism Minister Ambika Soni at New Delhi.
Bali told that Union Ministry of Tourism and Common Wealth Games Organizing Committee would sponsor common wealth players and officials to visit of Himachal Pradesh to acquaint them about the rich cultural heritage, natural and scenic beauty and adventures sports facilities besides temples, monuments and budhists shrines which have archaeological importance. He said that centre would provide liberal financial assistance to the State Government to create modern infrastructure and other facilities etc. to improve these places so that the State could be projected as a major tourist destination of the country to the foreign dignitaries.
Bali said that Centre Government has also agreed to provide liberal financial assistance to the State Government for creating basic infrastructural facilities at major pilgrimage centers of the State which were visited by lakhs of devotees every year from the country and abroad. He said that Centre will provide assistance for creating modern facilities at holy Shakteepeeths like Chintpurni, Jawalaji, Naina Devi, Chamundadevi, Brijeshwari Devi shrines so that the devotees could get better facilities and stay for more time to visit the nearby places also. He said that Centre would also provide assistance to set up helipads in Shimla, Manali, Kangra and Kinnaur areas so as to increase the connectivity of these importance tourist destinations and start air services to these places. He said that State Government would select the important villages which were known for excellence in arts, culture, painting, woodwork, architectural design for promoting as rural tourist destinations and Centre Government would provide Rs. 70 lakhs assistance for each village for capacity building and infrastructure development. He said that State Government has already selected Barog in Solan district and Mashobra in Shimla district under rural tourism scheme.
Bali said that centre has agreed to cover Rohru and Chanshal in Shimla district under the Integrated Development of Tourist Destinations Programme and State government would submit all the relevant details to the Central Government to expedite the case.
Union Tourism Minister Ambika Soni appreciated the steps being taken by the State Government to project the State as major tourist destination of the country. She said that peace loving and innocent people and responsive administration was an added attraction for the tourists besides the natural beauty and all weather tourism potential. She assured all possible help to the State Government for promotion of tourism.