Tourists in a spot as road signs go missing

Will take steps soon to address the issue: Deshpande
Last Updated 27 September 2013, 18:18 IST

Minister for Tourism and Higher Education R V Deshpande on the occasion of World Tourism Day on Friday admitted that something as basic as road signs leading to various tourist destinations in the state are in dire straits and need a revamp.

According to officials in the Tourism department, the last time the road signs were put up was way back in 2002 alongside the highways leading to the tourist attractions in the state.

 A senior official admitted that the Tourism department has received several complaints regarding missing sign boards as some of them had been damaged due to rains and many were not visible from the road as they have been covered by the branches of the trees. When questioned on the missing sign boards on roads by Deccan Herald, Deshpande said, “We agree that the sign boards need to be put up and we are going to do that as soon as possible and I have already asked the officials to put up the file to me in this regard.”

 Lack of sign boards is causing inconvenience to tourists. For instance, if one is traveling on the Bangalore Mysore highway and going towards Kodagu, there are hardly any road signs to guide tourist which way to take a turn. Due to lack of sign boards, typically, one has to follow the hoardings of private resorts and hotels which dot the road to be on the right track for reaching Kodagu.

 The same is true if one is coming from Mysore to Shivanasamudra where due the absence of road signs, one has to keep asking the passersby for directions.

Improving facilities

Tourism department officials said they have received several complaints regarding inadequate toilets at some tourist destinations across the state.

Deshpande said that this issue needs to be taken up with the competent authority as constructing of toilets at some of the places which are with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) need proper approval.

 He said that soon the state is going to roll out a fresh tourism policy for the state which will address the issue of decentralisation of the construction of toilets at such sites.

Beach tourism

While Deshpande shared the ambitious plans of the department to upgrade tourism in the state and venture into promoting water tourism, it being the theme this year, he agreed a lot is left to be desired in this direction at various tourist destinations in the state.

 Beach resorts could be a reality soon in the state with the Tourism department having sent a proposal to the Centre for relaxing the norms for construction of resorts on the coastline in the state.

The minister said that a proposal has recently been sent to both the Union Ministries of Tourism and Environment wherein certain relaxations have been sought against laws which disallow any construction within 200 metres distance of the coast near high tide areas.

(Published 27 September 2013, 18:18 IST)

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