Tourism dept reinvents the 'failed wheel'

Tourism dept reinvents the 'failed wheel'

NO TAKERS: Horse-drawn carriages lie idle in front of the Tourism department office in Hospet. DH Photo

The Karnataka State Tourism Department seems to have not learnt any lesson from its failed tryst with horse-drawn carriages for sight seeing in Hampi.

The Department has submitted a proposal to purchase carriages even as the ones purchased last year are idle and rusting.

Four carriages were purchased spending lakhs of rupees last year to promote tourism. The objective was to give a new experience to foreign tourists. The project, conceived on the lines of the one in Mysore, came a cropper in Hampi.

The ruins in Hampi stand on a different footing and the surface of area to be traversed is uneven. Obviously, the ride would not be a smooth one and the experience, definitely not memorable. The wheels of the carriages have not come a full circle but for the inaugural ride.

Not a single tourist has ‘enjoyed’ the ride since that day. The carriages are now lying idle at the Department’s office at Kamalapur in the City.

However, citing a welfare programme for Scheduled Castes and Tribes, the Department has submitted a Rs 1.36-lakh proposal this year, again to purchase carriages.

According to Jitendra Prasad, the deputy director of the Tourism Department, the project would generate employment for many.

Given the past experience, doubts are being raised on the viability of the so-called ‘employment generation’ aspect of the project.