TDC seeks Rs 335 cr in next budget for infrastructural development
Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) proposes to seek an allocation of Rs 335 crore in the next budget to develop infrastructural facilities in Telangana which has huge potential for Tourism
Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) proposes to seek an allocation of Rs 335 crore in the next budget to develop infrastructural facilities in Telangana which has huge potential for Tourism. This sector has been a neglected one though the corporation does not want to admit it.
In 2020-21 budget, the allocation for Tourism was Rs 250 crore but only Rs 7.5 crore was released. In a freewheeling chat with The Hans India, the new Chairman of TDC, U Srinivas Gupta shared his views on what he proposes to do. The focus continues to be more on Tourism places in city than other tourism spots in the state.
What is on your agenda for tourism?
I would like to have a ropeway for the people of the city. People of the city do not have the option to get the ropeway and they are going all the way to Srisailam. If the same facility is provided in the city, people would definitely like it. The 4-km odd ropeway would be between Lumbini Park and Sanjeevaiah Park passing through the Budha statue. Soon tenders would be called for the new facility. There is also a proposal to have Mono Rail surrounding the Tank Bund and Necklace Road.
Do you agree that Telangana has huge potential for promoting Tourism?
Yes there are many natural resources and historical places in the city and the government is also trying to make the state a tourist destination by providing best facilities.
Why is it that it has been neglected in last six years?
In fact the neglect was during the undivided Andhra Pradesh. After K Chandrashekar Rao took over as the chief minister there was development in the tourism sector. There were less than 10 hotels that to wayside amenities in Telangana before the formation of the State but now there are 39 budget hotels. The facilities are also improving at many tourist destinations. You say it was not neglected but the fact is there are no infrastructural facilities in most of the tourist areas and where they exist they are not even of national standards.
Most places do not even have decent resorts or facilities for food?
The facilities will be provided now and the focus will be on having infrastructure. We have a resort facility at Taramati Baradari which is spread across 7.5 acres in the city. The area also has a three-star hotel and restaurant where quality food is being served. Similarly, there are resorts at Somasila, Eegalapenta and other places.
Did you ever go on a holiday even to nearby places like Anantagiri and Pocharam lake?
They are beautiful places around Hyderabad but even toilets dont exist there. There are some issues which we are addressing. Where facilities are there we propose to give the housekeeping to outsourcing agencies. Soon the services would be streamlined in all the tourist places. If Gujarat after a major earthquake could convert white desert area of Kutch which was razed to ground into a major international tourist hub why can't Telangana do so.
Apart from being revenue earner, it can provide direct and indirect jobs to many?
The government is focussing on tourism especially at the Irrigation project sites to attract tourists. The Corporation is seeking Rs 335 Crore for development of tourism facilities during the next financial year and of that we propose to spend Rs 250 crore on tourism facilities at Kaleshwaram project. We will also examine the best facilities and practices from other states and countries and implement them in Telangana.
How much was allocated in 2020-21 budget for Tourism and how much was spent on Tourism development and where. It is said that allocation was diverted for other departments, is it true?
In a first, this financial year Rs 250 crore has been sanctioned to develop tourist circuits around the River Godavari front from Kaleshwaram to Sripada Yellampalli project. But only Rs 7.35 crore was released and the TDC has utilised the entire money. Tourism needs more money.
Any tourist project at temple town Yadadri?
There are plans to develop a major tourist spots at Yadadri. Government has earmarked 90 acres of land at Yadadri, the influx of tourists is going to increase in the temple town and facilities would also be increased. A resort, water sports facility is being planned at Baswapur reservoir, six kilometres away from Yadadri. Government also proposes to have resort facilities at Vikarabad to promote health tourism. About 50 acres of land is provided by the government and facilities like Yoga center, meditation would come up there.