The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Smt. Vasundhara Raje met the Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in New Delhi today to discuss the possibilities of promoting culture and tourism in the state of Rajasthan. Smt Vasundhra Raje placed before the Minister several specific demands of the state with respect to promoting tourist destinations/circuits, conservation of historical monuments and providing connectivity to places of tourist interest. Appreciating the tourism potential of the state of Rajasthan, Dr Mahesh Sharma said that the state can contribute much more to overall tourism in the country and the Centre is keen to extend all possible help to this favourite destination of tourists both home and abroad.
Dr Mahesh Sharma disclosed that the Tourism Ministry will very soon sanction funds to the state for the Project on Sambhar Lake area under the Desert Circuit of the Swadesh Darshan scheme. The project cost is Rs 84.34 cr and has several interesting components including ‘Salt Train & Dining Experience’, a Salt Complex, Light and Sound Show, Caravan Park, cycle track, cafeteria, night safari among others. Similarly, Rs 60 crore are being sanctioned for the project’Integrated Development of Pushkar-Ajmer’ under the PRASAD scheme of the Tourism Ministry . Another Project under the Krishna Circuit for Govind Devji Temple (Jaipur), Khatu Shyamji (Sikar) and Kaman (Bharatpur) is under consideration, he said.
The Chief Minister of Rajasthan raised various demands including Expansion of Hospitality Infrastructure , financial assistance for several small circuits planned by Rajasthan government , development of the Indus Valley site Kalibangan to a world class archaeological site. Smt Vasundgra Raje also requested that the work of conservation of important historical forts as well as removal of encroachments , cleanliness and improving access to the forts etc should be taken up on a war footing. Some of the forts requiring special attention include Bhatner fort at Hanumangarh, and Bharatpur fort , she added. The Chief Minister informed that under the proposed 475th Birth Anniversary commemoration of Maharana Pratap , the state has decided to construct an Indoor Stadium near Udaipur.
Smt.Vasundhra Raje also urged the Centre to provide funds to the state for incomplete tourist infrastructure projects. Laying emphasis on the importance of connectivity in promoting tourism, Smt Raje requested to provide inter connectivity via air between the major cities of Jaipur,Jodhpur- and Udaipur and to re- notify the Nagaur airstrip. Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that the demands of the state are genuine and assured speedy decisions on the issues for implementation in a time-bound manner. Secretary , Culture & Tourism (Additional Charge), Shri N K Sinha , Senior officials of the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, DG of ASI, Air India officials and officials from State Government were also present at the meeting.