To woo tourists, UP plans helium balloon rides, rope ways

June 13th, 2012 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

L0ucknow, June 13 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government Wednesday in-principle cleared the way for setting up helium balloon ride facility at Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Varanasi, and for restarting light and sound show at the Residency in Lucknow to woo and help tourists.

A high-level meeting of Empowered Committee on Public Private Partnership (PPP), chaired by Infrastructure and Industrial Development Commissioner (IIDC) Anil Kumar Gupta, decided that the government would follow public-private partnership to unlock the immense potential of religious, spiritual, historical and eco-tourism in Uttar Pradesh. The committee gave its approval for issuance of Request for Qualification (RFQ) document for the helium balloon rides facility.

Further, the committee selected consultant for preparing Detailed Project Report (DPR) for setting up ropeways at three places and also gave in-principle approval to encourage development of roadside amenities by private developers.

In the first phase, helium balloon ride facility is proposed at Shilpgram-Agra, Rahi Gulistan Tourist Complex-Fatehpur Sikri and Sant Ravidas Ghat-Varanasi. It was also decided that possibility of helium balloon ride facility at Lucknow will also be explored.

To be developed by selected private developers, the government will facilitate provision of land. It is estimated that around 3,000 to 4,000 square metres of land would be required for each of these projects, while the estimated capital cost is Rs.6 crore. It was decided that RFQ should be issued after incorporating appropriate provisions.

“Endowed with rich cultural and historical heritage, Uttar Pradesh has enormous possibilities in religious, eco and historical tourism. The state government has decided to promote tourism through public private partnership in order to realise this potential,” said Infrastructure and Industrialdevelopment Commissioner Anil K. Gupta.

In another important decision, a consortium of UDeC, IDFC and Innovest has been selected as consultant for carrying out necessary studies, prepare both a feasibility report and a master plan for the three projects involving establishment of ropeways.

Aimed at promoting religious tourism and providing better transit facilities to pilgrims, ropeways will be set up at Radharani temple in Barsana, Mathura; Devangana (valley) in Chitrakoot; and Vindhyavaasani Kali Khoh-Ashtabhuja in Mirzapur.

Besides, the light and sound show at the historical Residency in Lucknow will be restarted under PPP mode. The show at the Residency was very popular but was suspended a few years ago. The project has been recently taken over by the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Corporation.

A decision was also taken to encourage private players to create new public facilities along the state and national highways and other roads routinely used by travellers and tourists. It was decided that EoI should be issued in this regard after specifying minimum standard of quality assurance for developing and maintaining facilities like hygienic public toilets, clean drinking water, etc. along the roads. Signposts will be put up one kilometre from such facilities on either side.

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