Tirupati: Tourism projects come to grinding halt

Tirupati: Tourism projects come to grinding halt
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The ambitious plans of the Tourism department have remained on paper with no new initiative taken up during the last two- and-a half years.

Tirupati: The ambitious plans of the Tourism department have remained on paper with no new initiative taken up during the last two- and-a half years.

Further, the previous projects were stopped mid-way and not exploring new income generation means. In Chittoor district, a five-star hotel was planned for tourists visiting Horsley Hills.

Later, another five-star hotel at Tirupati was also planned though with no concrete step being taken up to ground the projects.

The officials maintain that a major brand operator has shown interest in taking up the project on behalf of the Tourism department at Tirupati. The representatives of the said reputed brand have even visited Tirupati to have first-hand assessment.

It was said that they asked for at least 10 acres of land for the project to be started. The department has identified land at Devalok complex on the Alipiri-Cherlopalli road where they have three acres of land with them while the remaining site was in litigation at the court.

The officials were reportedly toying with the idea of allocating the three acres along with adjacent four acres where the Tourism Development Corporation's transport unit was located. If that is not sufficient, they need to wait till the litigation is settled in favour of the Tourism department.

Similarly, it was proposed to build a resort with a five-star hotel at Horsley Hills for which around 20 acres was required. It has 3.5 acres there and procured another 10 acres. Now efforts are on to take another seven acres from the Sericulture department for which they have to give no objection certificate to the Tourism department.

Going by the pace of events, it remains to be seen when the project will take its shape even as a decision on the brand operator needs to be taken.

Further, the department has started an Eco-Tourism project at Naniyala Elephant Rehabilitation Centre of Ramakuppam mandal in the Kuppam constituency for which the foundation stone was laid in January 2018. The district Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) has sanctioned Rs 2 crore while the state government has approved another Rs 4 crore.

So far, only Rs 1.2 crore were spent out of DTPC funds by the time the project was stopped and some more works were taken up with the funds given by the state government too. With only around 60 per cent works completed, the project is looking for approvals to get it completed.

Officials have been saying that, even if it is opened now itself, visitors may come regularly which can generate income to the department.

The remaining works can be completed from now onwards. But, the forest department which is the executing agency has to come forward for this it appears. With the involvement of higher officials, Naniyala Eco Tourism Project may be formally opened for the visitors within no time.

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