The state government would develop Janjehli area in Mandi district from eco-tourism point of view, Bir Billing in Kangra district as destination of para gliding and adventure sports, Pong Dam as water sports destination and Chanshal area in Shimla district as favoured destination for winter sports and skiing.This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the presentation on ‘Nai Rahein, Nai Manjilein’ scheme of the state government to explore lesser known tourist destinations in the state, here today.The Chief Minister said that in order to lessen the burden from already overcrowded tourists destinations like Shimla, Kullu-Manali, Dharamshala etc., the government has launched this ambitious scheme with an objective to create world class infrastructure for the tourists so that they could be motivated to visit these virgin destinations.Jai Ram Thakur said that noted hotel chain group Club Mahindra has agreed to establish a resort at Janjehli with an investment of Rs. 50 crore. Besides, Rs. 25 crore would be spent on creation of basic eco tourism related facilities like developing camping sites, tracking routes, new points, upgradation and renovation of existing forest rest houses and setting up of log huts for the tourists.He said that camping sites would be developed at Devidhar, Panjain and Bijahi etc. In addition to this, interpretation centre would be established at Bandal in proposed Baglamukhi Nature Park. He said that cactus garden, ropeway, nature walk and rock climbing facilities would also be developed in the area. He said that log huts would be constructed near Pandoh to ensure that the tourists visiting Kullu-Manali area get another tourist destination on way from Mandi to Manali.
Jai Ram Thakur said that para gliding centre would be developed at Bir Billing by spending Rs. 8 crore. Besides, traditional tracking routes, resting places and other comfort facilities would be strengthened for facilitating the adventure lovers visiting the area. He said that an amount of Rs. 4.20 crore would also be spent on development of atleast 10 tracking routes in the area.The Chief Minister said that Pong Dam in Kangra district has been declared as Ramsar site which is world famous site for bird watchers as lakhs of birds migrate to this place every year as far as Siberia. He said that two boats with sitting capacity of 14 people have already been provided in the Pong Dam to facilitate visitors and two additional boats would be provided soon. The place would be developed by constructing about 15 log huts for comfortable stay of the visitors. He said that nature trail and bird viewpoints would also be constructed to make the place tourists friendly.Jai Ram Thakur said that Chanshal area in Shimla district was also being developed as a destination for winter sports under the ‘Nai Rehein Nai Manjilein scheme. The pre-feasibility report regarding development of ski slopes, resorts, ropeways and other facilities have already been prepared.Additional Chief Secretary Tourism Ram Subhag Singh gave away a detailed presentation on ‘Nai Rehein Nai Manjilein’ scheme. He said that the department would ensure that all these four destinations would be developed as a benchmark in promoting virgin destinations in the State from tourism point of view. This would not only provide new destinations for the tourists and solace seekers but also ample employment and self employment opportunities to the locals.Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Shrikant Baldi, Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sanjay Kundu, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Ajay Kumar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Savita, Director Tourism Yunus, Principal Private Secretary to Chief Minister Vinay Singh and other senior officers were present on the occasion.