TCGL to introduce ‘rural tourism’ in five more villages across State (Gujarat)
TCGL to introduce ‘rural tourism’ in five more villages across State
January 15, 2007:
IN its bid to encourage tourists to visit and experience relaxed and healthy lifestyles in rural areas, the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited (TCGL) has identified five villages and has sought funds from the Centre to develop them under its Rural Tourism Infrastructure Development (RTID) scheme.
The TCGL has sent separate project proposals to the Union Ministry for Tourism to develop Navagam (Kheda district), Kankapura (Anand), Dandi (Navsari), Nageshwar ( Jamnagar ) and Sasan-Gir (Junagadh), as rural tourist hubs on the lines of the one developed at Hodka in Kutch under the same scheme.
“We are also working out proposals to develop two more villages - Zinjhuwada in Surendranagar and Dholavira in Kutch - under the RTID scheme and will send them to the Tourism Ministry shortly, “ says TCGL Managing Director P D Vaghela.
Under the scheme, Centre would give the State maximum of Rs 50 lakh to create necessary infrastructure at each of the villages and another Rs 20 lakh for capacity building. This includes training local villagers in tourism-related activities such as popularizing and marketing their art, craft and culture to generate employment in rural areas.
“Like Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, a local NGO who built, own and run Sham-e-Sarhad (Sunset on the Border) project at Hodka, the proposed projects would also be implemented by local village tourism committees that will include representatives from voluntary organisations”, Vaghela told Newsline on Monday.
He said the main objective of the Centre’s scheme was to promote village tourism, and benefit local communities economically, socially and culturally, in addition to enabling them to interact freely with prospective tourists. It would also focus on resources available under different schemes of the Rural Development Ministry and other departments.
“There is tremendous potential for these villages to attract domestic as well as foreign tourists - The Shiv temple at Nageshwar village has one of the 12 Jyotilingas, Zinjhuwada near the Little Rann of Kutch is the habitat for world famous will asses, Sasan in the Gir forests is home to Asiatic lions, and Dandi has its own historical importance,” a senior TCGL offical informed, adding “Navagam and Kankapura in central Gujarat are also attached with pre-Independence history, since Gandhiji halted here during his historic Dandi March. The Harappa civilization site at Dholavira has already become a hot favourite destination for Tourists.”
Various activities like landscaping and development of parks at each of these villages will be taken up after the Centre sanctions the projects. Each village will also receive added illumination, water and adventure sports, eco-friendly modes of transport within the tourism zone, signage, reception centres and accommodation for prospective tourists, says the official.
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