SUBJECT : Private push for tourism

Shimla, March 9th: The state government would take the help of private sector to develop new tourism destinations in Himachal Pradesh, announced chief minister Virbhadra Singh in his budget speech on Tuesday.

Five sites at Shoja, Jhatingri, Bilaspur, Suketi and Baddi will be offered to the private sector on a long-term lease for developing tourist resorts, amusement and water parks, golf courses etc. Wayside amenities will be developed for providing facilities to tourists.
The CM said to develop tourist destinations in the state, the tourism department has submitted Rs 100 crore project under Himalayan Circuit to the Union ministry of tourism under Government of India's scheme 'Swadesh Darshan'. 

He said that an artificial rock climbing centre at Manali has also been proposed under this project. He also proposed to develop several ropeway projects - Dharamkot to Triund in Kangra, Toba to Shri Naina Devi in Bilaspur, Shahtalai to Deotsidh, Bashal Kanda in Shimla/Kinnaur , Neugal (Palampur) in Kangra district and Bhunter to Bijli Mahadev in Kullu district, on a public private partnership (PPP) mode for which the bidding process would be undertaken in 2016-17.

He said Himachal Pradesh will be first State in India to introduce zero emission electric buses. The chief minister also announced exemption from token tax, registration charges and VAT on all electric vehicles for five years in order to promote eco-friendly transport services in the state.

He also proposed an additional outlay of Rs 10 crore for the construction of bus stands in addition to the resources of Bus Stand Management and Development Authority.

He has also proposed the development of four transport nagars in the state in first instance with a seed money of Rs 2 crore each for further development in PPP mode.

Source: Times of India