Centre sanctions Rs 85 crore for tourism development

SHILLONG: Meghalaya has got an approved sanction of Rs 85 crore under the Swadesh Darshan scheme.
The Swadesh Darshan Scheme or Central Sector Scheme was launched in 2014-15 by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) for the integrated development of theme based tourist circuits in the country.
This scheme is envisioned to synergise with other schemes under the Government of India with the idea of positioning the tourism sector as a major engine for job creation, economic growth and to enable tourism to realise its full potential.
Speaking to mediapersons on Friday, Tourism Minister, Metbah Lyngdoh informed that the state government has called for tenders for the projects which need to be developed under the scheme but the process could not be completed due to the model code of conduct which is enforced in the country.
“By the first or second week of June, we will complete the allotment of the projects to the bidders,” he said.
Under the programme, the state government intends to develop one circuit each in West Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills
The projects, which will be developed under the scheme include Nongkhlaw, Krem Tirot, Khudoi and Kohmang falls Sohtyngkhur, Mawthadraishan, Khri river, Iooksi Jaintia Hills, Shyrmang village, Krang Suri Waterfall, Daribokgre, Mandalgre, Darechikgre, Katta Beel and Siju Caves.
“We want to speed up the projects as we understand that tourism is coming up in a big way in Meghalaya for which we want to create good infrastructures,” he said
Reacting to a query on the littering of tourist sites in the state, he said that local stakeholders play an important role in tourism and should do their best to keep the areas clean.
Asserting that the state has huge potential as far as caving and water sports activities are concerned, he added that tourism is helping in improving the rural economy.
) He informed that after his visit to Shnongpdeng, he found that more than 170 youths from the area are dependent on tourism for their livelihood.
When asked about the shortage of accommodation for tourists, he said that the deadline for the completion of the Crowbrough Hotel is next year and the work is going on as per the schedule.

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