Shimla: To create newer destinations for the ever increasing number of tourists visiting Himachal hills each year, Club Mahindra has agreed to invest Rs 50 crore for setting up a resort at Janjehli, chief minister Jai Ram Thakur disclosed here while presiding over a review meeting of Nai Rahein, Nai Manjilein project.
The scheme is a thrust area for the government to create world class infrastructure at lesser known destinations that would help in attracting tourists into scenic valleys which have vast potential for tourism.
Janjehli would be developed as an eco-tourism destination, said the chief minister. A budget of Rs 25 crore has been marked for developing camping sites, tracking routes, renovating forest rest houses and setting up of log huts for the tourists. Camping sites are proposed to be developed at Devidhar, Panjain and Bijahi.
Other sites to developed under the program are Bir – Billing, Pong Dam back waters and Chanshal heights. Bir – Billing in Kangra is already a popular para-gliding site where international competitions are regularly held. Other than para gliding, with a budget of Rs 8 crore it is to be developed as an adventure sports destination. About Rs 4.20 crore would be spent for developing 10 trekking routes in the area, said a government spokesman.
For the sheer number and variety of migratory birds thronging Pong Dam every winter, the wetlands have been declared a protected Ramsar site. A birdwatchers delight, Pong Dam backwaters attract birds from as far away as Siberia. To develop facilities under the scheme, it is proposed to have two additional boats for ferrying visitors to the destination. Two boats with a carrying capacity of 14 people each are already plying on the large lake waters. Overnight staying facilities are to be created by constructing 15 log huts in the area.
Chanshal area in Shimla hills is proposed to be developed as favoured destination for winter sports and skiing. The pre-feasibility report for developing ski slopes, resorts, ropeways and other facilities has already been prepared.
New destinations for tourists and solace seekers would also created employment avenues for the resident population, said the chief minister.
Those present for the meeting included Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Shrikant Baldi, Additional Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh, Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sanjay Kundu, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Ajay Kumar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Savita and Director Tourism Yunus.