Visakhapatnam: Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s dream to make Andhra Pradesh a tourist hub of India, particularly Visakhapatnam as number one destination in the country, will not hold much water if one goes by the projects slated to be signed as MoU at the ensuing Partnership Summit to be held on January 27 and January 28.
According to executive director of the AP Tourism Development Corporation R Sriramulu Naidu, only one MoU will be signed between the AP government and Hyderabad based Swarnamukhi Company for setting up of 120- metre high tower atop Kailasagiri Hills. The project will cost Rs 70 crore.
- 10,000 crore worth projects were envisaged for taking off by 2020
- Just one tourism project MoU to be signed during 2017 Partnership Summit
- Last year too, only one project was signed up
- No additional projects being considered by the government at present
The MoU was to be signed on January 6 but on the advice of principal secretary tourism N Srikanth, it was shifted to the Summit.
Last year too only one MoU was signed for developing resorts in Anandapuram mandal, about 26 kilometers from the city. The project, estimated to cost Rs 70 crore, is in the process of land acquisition and the company is yet to get relevant permissions from various agencies. `
`There are no major tourism projects planned by the government as of now,’’ The executive director told this correspondent.
According to the AP Tourism policy, Rs 10,000 crore worth projects were envisaged for taking off by 2020. Mostly to be driven by the private entrepreneurs, the government proposed beach shacks, water sports, sea and river cruises, adventure sports, ropeways, helitourism, farm tourism and rural tourism apart from development of pilgrimage.
The Chief Minister also proposed to develop 39 beach fronts and river resorts akin to Kerala tourism. The beach locations include Kalingapatnam, Bhavanapadu, Uddanam, and Baruva in Srikakulam district, Bhogapuram, Chintapalli and Konada in Vizianagaram district, Bheemunipatnam, Yandada, Sagar Nagar, Rushikonda, Mangamaripeta, Yarada, Thotlakonda in Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, and S. Yanam, Odlarevu, Chintalamori, Antarvedi, Pentakonta, Uppada, Chirrayanam, Perupalam, Mollaparru in West Godavari, Manginapudi, Hamsaladeevi in Krishna, Suryalanka, Dindi in Guntur, Odarevu/ Chirala, Kothapatnam, Motupalli, Ramayapatnam, Isakapalli, Krishnapatnam, Tummalapenta, Mypadu, Tupilipalem, Ramateerham beach in Nellore district.
Apart from this there are also plans for development of full-fledged hill resorts in Lambasingi, Pallepalli and Araku in Visakhapatnam and Horsley hills in Chittoor district.
An amount of Rs 8 crore has been sanctioned for developing camping resorts at Lambasinghi in an area of 18 acres. The APTDC will build the project and hand it over to a private agency for operation and maintenance.
Travel operators said there was an urgent need to develop agency areas, particularly Lambasinghi and Araku Valley as the number of tourists visiting these two places is increasing.
According to APTDC records, 71, 882 tourists visited in October last year, 88,744 in November, 1, 23, 660 in December and 40,122 in January (till January 15). These four months are treated as peak season.